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3 3433 08181450 5 

CvjHOLJc: Church in 

16 7.^ - 1871 




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IVIicrosoft Corporation 


1673 - 1871 


Gilbert J? Garraghan, S. J. 


Chicago, Illinois 

19?,1 , 








The Most Reverend Geo?-ge W. Mimdelein, D.D. 
Archbishop of Chicago 



I. Early Missionary Visitors 1 

II. The Pastorate of Father St. Cyr, 1833-1834 - 45 

III. Bishop Brute and the Mission or Chicago - - 71 

IV. The Pastorate of Father St. Cyr, 1834-1S37 - 82 
V. Bishop Quarter 108 

VI. Bishop Van de Velde 137 

VII. Bishop O 'Regan 167 

VIII. Bishop Duggan 180 

IX. Bishop Foley and the Fire of 1871 - - - 219 



Jacques Marquette, S.J 1 

Marquette at the Chicago Portage 5 

Marquette 's Journal 9 

Montigny 's Chicago Letter, 1699 18 and 19 

Father Gabriel Richard 29 

Father Stephen T. Badin 35 

Jean Baptiste Beaubien 37 

Father John Mary Irenaeus St. Cyr 45 

Petition of the Catholics of Chicago, 1833 4(3 

Et. Rev. Joseph Rosati, D. D 4S 

Father St. Cyr to Bishop Rosati 51 

Record of Bajitism of George Beaubien 54 

Record of Baptism of Robert Jerome Beaubien 56 

Mark Beaubien 58 

Anson H. Taylor 60 

Augustine Deodat Taylor 65 

Rt. Rev. Simon William Galjriel Brute, D. D 71 

The Diocese of Vincennes, 1835 73 

Bishop Flaget 's Appeal for Chicago 79 

The First Saint Mary 's Church 82 

Et. Rev. Maurice dc St. Palais, D. D 106 

Kt. K(>v. William J. Qiuutcr, D. D 108 

Saint Mary's Catlu-dial 110 

Bishop Quai'ter to Bishop Puieell, 1844 ll-J 

Uiiivorsity of Saint Mary of tlic Lake 113 

Letter of Father Stei)hen T. Badin 120 

The Hosarist 's Companion 129 

Rt. Rev. James Oliver Van do Velde, D. D ir.y 

Rt. Rev. Anthony O 'Regan, D. D 167 

Church of the Holy Family 177 

Rt. Rev. James Duggan, D. D 180 

Rt. Rev. Thomas Foley, D. D 219 


The present year, 1921, is the fiftieth since Chicago 
was laid waste l)y a conflagration which has passed into 
history as the extreme instance of public calamities of 
the kind. The amazing swiftness with which the city 
retrieved its losses and stood erect on its feet again has 
almost made us forget what a calamity it was. And yet, 
though to the Chicagoans who followed with bated 
breath its remorseless trail of destruction it seemed a 
catastrophe tremendous beyond words, the Fire of 1871 
is now recognized, not paradoxically, to have been a 
thing that accelerated, though it checked for a time, 
the victorious advance of the City of the Lakes. But 
calamity or blessing, the event was and always will 
remain epochal in the history of the municipality. A 
line of cleavage was then and there set up between the 
Chicago that was and the Chicago that was to be. Pre- 
Fire Chicago is an outstanding historical unit, with 
color, atmosphere and individuating lines quite its own. 
Even so, in the story of Catholic origins and growth in 
Chicago a line of demarcation is drawn across the i-ccord 
by the event of 1871. The incidents prior to it fill out 
and circumscribe the pioneer period of that fascinating 
story and as such may be dealt with by the historian 
as a unified whole. It is this conception which has led 
the author to limit his sketch by the Fire of 1871, for 
he finds in that ol^vious turning-point of local history 
the logical end of a narrative which purposes to re- 
count the beginnings only and not the mature develop- 
ment of the Catholic Church in Chicago. 


El. Rov. Willium J. Quurtcr, D. D 108 

Saint Mary 's Cathedral 110 

Bi8hop Quarter to Bishop Purcell, 1844 112 

University of .Saint Mary of the Lake 113 

Letter of Father Ste{)hen T. Badin 120 

The Fosarist 's Companion 129 

Rt. Rev. James Oliver Van de Velde, D. D l?,7 

Rt. Rev. Anthony O 'Regan, D. D 167 

Church of the Holy Family 177 

Rt. Rev. James Duggan, D. D 180 

Rt. Rev. Thomas Foley, D. D 219 


The present year, 1921, is the fiftieth since Chicago 
was laid waste by a conflagration which has passed into 
history as the extreme instance of public calamities of 
the kind. The amazing swiftness with which the city 
retrieved its losses and stood erect on its feet again has 
almost made us forget what a calamity it was. And yet, 
though to the Chicagoans who followed with bated 
breath its remorseless trail of destruction it seemed a 
catastrophe tremendous beyond words, the Fire of 1871 
is now recognized, not paradoxically, to have been a 
thing that accelerated, though it checked for a time, 
the victorious advance of the City of the Lakes. But 
calamity or blessing, the event was and always will 
remain epochal in the history of the municipality. A 
line of cleavage was then and there set up between the 
Chicago that was and the Chicago that was to be. Pre- 
Fire Chicago is an outstanding historical unit, with 
color, atmosphere and individuating lines quite its own. 
Even so, in the story of Catholic origins and growth in 
Chicago a line of demarcation is drawn across the record 
by the event of 1871. The incidents prior to it fill out 
and circumscribe the pioneer period of that fascinating 
story and as such may be dealt with by the historian 
as a unified whole. It is this conception which has led 
the author to limit his sketch by the Fire of 1871, for 
he finds in that obvious turning-point of local history 
the logical end of a narrative which purposes to re- 
count the beginnings only and not the mature develop- 
ment of the Catholic Church in Chicago. 



AVilliin the compass of tliis ])riei' sketch will be 
found compressed, it is Ix'lieved, all the essential facts 
of Chicago Catholic history between the limits named. 
Where possible, recourse has ])cen had to primary sources 
of information. In pai'ticular. the Archdiocesan Ar- 
chives of Saint Louis, the Archives of Saint Louis Uni- 
versity, and the Catholic Archives of America at Notre 
Dame University, have been drawn upon for pertinent 
material of value. AVhere the author has had to lean 
largely on secondary authorities as in Chapter VIII, he 
has felt less secure. The scale of treatment as regards 
the various topics varies according to the shifting meas- 
ure of available material. Thus, the pastorate of Father 
St. Cyr. our knowledge of which has been so much en- 
la i-ged through his correspondence with Bishop Rosati 
but recently brought to light, is treated in detail. On 
the other hand, the jneagreness of the data available in 
regard to Bishop 'Regan's episcopate has led the 
author to eke out this section of the narrative by a 
rather particularized account of the beginnings of the 
Holy Family parish, concerning which much first-hand 
material of interest happened to be within reach. 

Chapters I, II and lY, and the greater ])art of 
Chai)ter VII have ai)peared in the Illinois Catholic His- 
forival Ecvicw, July, October. 1918 and April, 1919, 
while Chapter III has lieen pu])lished in the Saint Louis 
Catholic Historical licvicw, October, 1919. To the editors 
of these maga/^incs the author makes grateful acknowl- 
edgment for the privilege of reproduction. 

St. Louis Z'niversity, 
August 14, 1921. 


on, r 

James Marquottc, missionary-explorer of the Society of 
Jesus. Pliotograpii from tlic iKMoie-sizod statue by the Florentine 
sculptor, tSi^nor Gaetano Ticntanove, which represents Wisconsin 
in Statuary Hall, the Cai)itol, Washin<;ton, being- the State's 
triliuto to the man who with Louis Joliet discovered th(> Missis- 
sippi at the junction of the great waterway with the Wisconsin 
near Prairie du Chien, June 17, 1673. 




No other city of the Middle West traces its histor- 
ical beginnings more remotely into the past than does 
Chicago. Its civic organization dates indeed only from 
the third decade of the nineteenth century; but long 
before the close of the seventeenth century the locality 
that was to see its growth had found a place in the 
permanent record of the times. As early as 1688 the 
name of the city had been written into the geography 
of the day, Franquelin's famous map of that year 
showing "Fort Chicagou" on the site of the future 
metropolis ; and this, thirteen years before Cadillac 
founded Detroit, seventy-six before Laclede set up his 
trading-post in St. Louis and a hundred before Denham 
and Patterson platted the village that was to develop 
into Cincinnati. The distinction that attaches to re- 
moteness of origin is not to be denied to the great 
metropolis of the Middle West. 

To pick up, then, the first threads in the religious 

history of Chicago, one must, as when he seeks to trace 



its secular origins, grope in a distant and shadowy past. 
In particular, the story of Catholicism in the metropolis 
carries us back for its opening pages to the first 
emergence of the locality into the light of histoiy. As 
it happened, all the early white visitors to the site of 
Chicago were of the Catholic faith ; and with their com- 
ing were forged, it may be said, the first links of associa- 
tion between the Catholic church and the future city. 
One may not determine at this late date who of white 
men were the first to arrive at the mouth of the Chicago 
River. True, the distinction has been claimed for that 
picturesque figure on the stage of early Western history, 
Eobert Cavelier Sicur de La Salle; but no evidence 
sufficient to establish his supposed visit of 1671 on 
anything even like an historical basis has ever Ijccn 
advanced. Not the empire-builder, but an humble 
soldier of the cross is the first figure that we are able 
to recognize with anything like certainty througli the 
mists that hang over the day-break of Chicago history.^ 
Two years after the alleged visit of La Salle to the 
marshy prairie-land that has since become Chicago, the 
missionary-explorer Father James Marquette arrived 
on the scene. On June 17, 1673, Marfiuctte and Joliot 
discovered the Mississippi at its junction with the Wis- 
consin. The two then descended the great waterway as 
iar as the Arkansas, whence, after a brief stay, they 

'"It is c'hiimcd that he [La Salle] discovered the Illinois 
River also and was the first of white men to visit the place where 
Chicago now stands — but the evidence does not warrant the as- 
sumption." E. G. Mason, Chapters from Illinois Ilistory, Chi- 
cago, 1901, p. 46. La Salle's alleged visit of 1671 to Illinois 
appears to have been a fiction invented by his friends. See 
Alvokd, The Illinois Country, 1920, p. 78. 


started on their hoineward journey. With their canoes 
directed up the Mississippi they proceeded as far as 
the Illinois, into which they turned. At the village of 
the Kaskaskia Indians situated on the Illinois at a place 
not yet definitively identified, Marquette set foot for 
the first time, as far as we have record, on the soil of 
the future commonwealth of Illinois. Finding the 
Indians in a receptive mood, he promised to return at 
the first opportunity and plant a mission in their midst. 
Then, resuming their journey, Marquette and Joliet 
continued to ascend the Illinois until they reached the 
Desplaines, which they entered, portaging thence to the 
Chicago River and so reaching Lake Michigan over the 
blue waters of which they voyaged to Green Bay. 

Marquette redeemed his pledge to evangelize the Marquette 
Kaskaskia. Leaving the ^Mission of St. Francis Xavier "' Chicago, 
on October 25, 1674, with the village of the Kaskaskia ^^'^^■^<^^^ 
for his objective, he journeyed partly by land, partly 
by water, along the Avcst shore of Lake Michigan, in 
company with two French voyageurs, Pierre Porteret 
and Jacques Le Castor. He arrived December 4 at 
the mouth of the Chicago River, broken in health and 
unable to proceed to his journey's end. After a stay 
here of some days, his companions built for him a rude 
shelter on the west fork of the south branch of the 
Chicago River, at a distance of about five miles (two 
leagues) from its outlet into Lake Michigan. Here 
IMarquette lived from December 14, 1674 to March 30, 
1675, busying himself with his devotions and with the 
composition of memoirs of his journeys, while his com- 
panions hunted turkey, deer and buffalo on ground now 
covered by the world's fourth largest center of popula- 


tion.- In tlio Joui'iial wliich the imssionary composed in 
part while he was thus confined during the long winter 

-"Thus began in Deccnilior, 1674, the first extended sojourn, 
as far as we have record, of white men on the site of the future 
Chicago." QUAIFE, Chicago and the Old Northiccst, 1673-1835, 
University of Chicago Press, 1913, p. 24. ' ' Thus it came about 
that our first account of life at Chicago pictures the doings of a 
lonely priest passing the dreary winter in a rude hut, animated 
by a fiery zeal for the salvation of the savages he was seeking, 
tlio wliile his phvsii-al frame was shaken with the pangs of a 
mortal disease. If plain living and high thinking be the ideal 
life, no locality ever launched its recorded career more auspiciously 
than did Chicago in the winter of 1674-1675." Quaife, The De- 
velopment of Chicago, 1674-1914, (The Caxton Club, Chicago, 

A'arious sites have been suggested for Marquette 's winter- 
quarters at Chicago. According to Carl Ilg (Atkinson, The Story 
of Chicago and National Development, pp. 8-11), he wintered on a 
hillock on the right bank of the south fork of the south branch 
of the Chicago River, at what is now the east end of the Thirty- 
fifth Street Bridge. Another location, at the foot of Robey Street, 
on the left bank of the west fork of the south branch of the 
Chicago River, was marked in 1907 by a cross of mahogany 
bearing the following inscription : 

WATERWAY, (See "Jesuit Relations," Vol. 58, p. 105) BY 


5 o 

^ -^ 


a> i< 0) 
"i^ '^ +^ 

<^ i-H 'P 



days in his cabin on the lileak prairie, oecnr the follow- 
ing paragraphs, memorable as the record, in his own 

Marquette's Journal. ERECTED SATURDAY", SEPT. 28, 1907, 

This Marquette memorial cross was maliciously destroyed a 
few yeai's ago, but has since been replaced by a new one, erected 
by the Willey Lumber Company. 

John Huston Finlay, the educator, pictures thus a visit wliidi 
he ])aid to this Marquette cross. 

"In the dusk of an autumn day, I went out to find the 
place where the novena liad worked the miracle of his healing. 
As I have already intimated, few of all the hundred thousands 
there in that great city have had any consciousness of the back- 
ground of French heroism and suffering and prevision in front 
of which they were passing daily, but I found that the policeman 
and watchman on the railroad near the ruins knew at least of 
the great black cross which stands by that drab and sluggish 
water, placed there in memory of Marquette and Joliet. 

' ' The bit of high ground where the hut stood is now sur- 
rounded by great looming sheds and factories which were entirely 
tenantless when I found my way through a long unlighted and 
unpaved street in the direction of the river. The cross stood, 
in a little patch of white, lilack as the father's cowl [sic] against 
the night with its crescent moon. I could not make out the 
inscription on the river-side of the monument, and, seeing a 
signal lantern tied to a scow moored to the bank near by, I 
untied it and by its light was able to read the tribute of the 
city to the memory of the priest and explorer who first of white 
men had passed tliat way having travelled, as it recites, ' two 
thousand, five hundred miles in canoes in one hundred and twenty 
days.' The bronze plate bears a special tribute to the foresight 


words, of the first extended sojourn of a Catholie priest 
on the site of Chicago. 

"Having camped near the portage, two leagues up the 
river, Ave resolved to winter there, as it was impossible to 
go further, since we were too mucli hindered and my ailment 
did not permit me to give myself much fatigue. Several 
llinois passed yesterday on their way to carry their furs to 
nawaskingwe. We gave them one of the cattle and one of 
the deer that Jacque had killed on the previous day. I do not 
think that I Imxe ever seen any savages more eager for 
French tobacco than they . They came and threw beaver skins 
at our feet, to get some pieces of it; but we returned them, 
giving them some pipefuls of the tobacco, because w^e had not 
yet decided whether we w^ould go farther. 

Chachagwessiou and the other llinois left us, to go and 
join their people and give them the goods that they had 
bought, in order to obtain their robes. In this they act like 
the traders, and give hardly any more than do the French. 
I instructed them before their departure, deferring the holding 
of a council until this spring, when I should be in their 
village. They traded us three fine robes of ox-skins for a 
cubit of tobacco; these were very useful to us during tlie 

of Joliet, Imt it eommcmorates first of all the fniil lunly and 
valorous soul of Father Marquette, the first European within 
the bounds of the c-ity of Chicago. I wish there might l)e 
written on maps, in that spa^o tliat is shown between the 
Chicago and the Dcsphiincs, or the 'Divine River' as it was 
sometimes calh^l, the words 'Portage St. Jacques.' Tliat were 
a fitter canonization than to put his name among the names of 
cities, steamboats on the hdve or t()l)accos, as is our custom in 

"The crescent moon dropped l)eliind tlie sli:uh)ws llial now 
line the portag(> 'like ;i somlier forest,' but it is only a few steps 
through tlie darkness back into the light and noise of tlie city 
of more than two million people." Finlay, The French in the 
Hi art of .luurica, p. 2oS. 


winter. Being: tluis rid of them we said the Mass of the 

Conception. After the 14th my disease turned into a bhiody 

Since we addressed ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Im- 
maculate and commenced a novena with a Mass — at which 
Pierre and Jacque, who do everything they can to relieve me, 
received Communion, — to ask God to restore my health — my 
bloody flux has left me, and all that remains is a weakness 
of the stomach. I am beiiinning to feel much better and to 
regain my health. 

The North wind delayed the thaw until the 25th of March, 
when it set in with a South wind. On the very next day, 
game began to make its appearance. We killed 30 pigeons, 
which I found better than those down the great river; but 
they are smaller, both old and young. On the 28th, the ice 
broke up, and stopped above us. ' On the 29th, the waters 
rose so high that we had barely time to decamp as fast as 
possible, putting our goods in the trees, and trying to sleep 
in a hillock. The water gained on us nearly all night, but 
there was a slight freeze and the water fell a little, while 
we were near our packages. The barrier has just broken, the 
ice has drifted away: and, because the water is already rising, 
Ave are about to embark to continue our journey. 

The Blessed Virgin Immaculate has taken such care of 
us during our wintering that we have not lacked provisions 
and have still remaining a large sack of corn with some meat 
and fat. We also lived very pleasantly, for my illness did not 
prevent me from saying holy Mass every day. We were un- 
able to keep Lent, except Fridays and Saturdays. 

We started yesterday and traveled three leagues up the 
river without finding any portage.'" 

^Jesuit Belations, (Thwaites ed. 59: 173-181). "There is no 
monument of him [Marquette] so interesting and pathetic as 
his unfinished letter during his last visit to the land of Illinois. . . . 


Another account of Father Marquette's residence on 
the banks of the Chicago River in the winter of 1674-75 
is to be found in a contemporary narrative by the mis- 
sionary's Superior, Father Claude Dal)lon. 

''He .set out for this iMiri)ose in the niontli of Xt)vember, 
1674, from the Bay of the Fetid [Green Bay] with two men, 
one of whom had already made that voyage with him. During 
a month's navigation on the Ilinois lake [Lake Michigan], 
he was pretty well: but as soon as the snow began to fall, 
he was again seized with the dysentery, which forced him to 
stop in the river which leads to the Ilinois. Then they raised 
a cabin and spent the winter, in such want of every comfort 
that his illness constantly increased; he felt that God had 
granted him the grace tliat he had so often asked, and he even 
plainly told his companions so, assuring them that he would 
die of that illness, and on that voyage. To prepare his soul 
for its departure, he began that rude wintering by the exercises 
of St. Ignatius, which, in spite of his great bodily weakness, 
he performed with deep sentiments of devotion and great 
heavenly consolation ; and then spent the rest of his time in 
eollociuies with all heaven, having no more intercourse Avith 

The larger portion of it was written in Marquette's winter camp 
at the bleak portage within the limits of Chicago. It would be 
wry fitting should it find its final abiding place in the city of 
whose early liistory it is a priceless and unique memorial." 
Mason, op. cit., p. 35. That Marquette while wintering on the 
Chicago River occupied himself in writing memoirs of his voyages 
is stated in a contemporary letter (dated Oct. 10, 1G75) from the 
Jesuit Cholenec published in Rochemonteix, Jy( s J< suites de la 
Nouvelle France Au XVII Sieclc, 3: 00(3. For the argument 
that Marquette wintered on the Calumet and not on the Cliicago 
River, see William Henry Lee, The Calumet Portage, in Transac- 
tions of the Illinois Historical Society, 1912; also Andreas, His- 
torij of Chicago, 1:46. That Marquette used the Chicago River 
portage on his returi) jouiiicy with .Joliet from the Mississippi is 
indicated in liis Journal, J (suit lldations, 59: 181. 


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The third pas'C of Marquette's auto<;raph Journal now resting 
in tlie Archives of Saint Mary's College, Montreal. The mission- 
ary's own account of his historic wintering of 1674-1675 on the 
site of Chicago, the inaugural episode in the life-story of the 
metropolis. It appears to be all but certain that the portion of 
the Journal reproduced above was composed amid the incidents it 
rocoids, and may thus lay claim to the distinction of being the 
earliest written docunu>nt ever put togetlier witlnn tiic limits of 
Chicago. (Roch(>nu)nteix. S. J., Lrs Jesuites dc la Nourellr France 
Au XVII Sifclr, r!:6()()). Courtesv of Burrows Brothers, Cleve- 


earth, amid these deserts, except with his two companions 
whom he confessed and communicated twice a week, and 
exhorted as much as his strength allowed. Some time after 
Christmas, in order to obtain the grace not to die without 
having taken possession of his beloved mission, he invited 
his companions to make a novena in honor of the Immaculate 
Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Contrary to all human 
expectations he was heard, and recovering, found himself able 
to proceed to the Illinois town as soon as navigation was free; 
this he accomplished in great joy, setting out on the 29th 
of March.* " 

The accounts just cited, virtually contemporaneous 
with the incidents recorded, are documents of priceless 
value to the historian, supplying as they do tlie very 
first pages in the religious history of Chicago. The 
spiritual functions discharged by Father Marquette 
during tlie winter of 1674-1675 are the earliest recorded 
ministrations of a clergyman within the limits of the 
future metropolis. Thus, he said the first Mass on the 
site of Chicago, that of the Immaculate Conception, on 
or within a day or two of the octave of the feast, De- 
cember 15, 1674. Moreover, he was the first priest 
known to have heard confessions, administered the 
Eucliarist and imparted religious instruction in that 
locality. We arc within the limits of sober fact when 
Ave affirm that in the little calnn by the river-bank in 
which he discharged these acts of the ministry on behalf 
of his faithful attendants, Pierre Porteret and Jacques 
Le Castor, the Catholic Church in Chicago first saw 
the light of day. 

■* Shea, Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley, 
p. 54. The text of Marquette's Journal seems to make it clear 
l^Jiat he resumed his journey towards the Kaskaskia on March 30. 


On March 30, 1675, Marciiutte bade good-bye to his 
winter-quarters on the Chicago River and resumed his 
journey to the Kaskaskia village. Here, despite his 
failing strength, he laid the foundation of the Mission 
of the Immaculate Conception, destined to stand out 
in history as the spot where civilization and Christianity 
made their first rude beginnings in the ^Mississippi 
Valley. Then, his life-work accomplished, he set his face 
once more towards the region of the Upper Lakes. With 
his life fast ebbing away, he toiled along the familiar 
route by the Illinois, Desplaines and Chicago rivers to 
Lake Michigan. Then, skirting the foot of the Lake, he 
made his Avay painfully up its east shore to a point near 
the present Ludington, ^liehigan, where on J\Iay 18, 
1675, he died among his faithful Indian attendants, 
leaving behind him the aroma of a singularly blameless 
life and a record of achievement that will ever loom 
large in the history of the discovery and exploration 
of the New World. 
Claude Two years after Marquette's wintering on the banks 

Aiiouez, 1677 Qf i\^Q Chicago River, another Jesuit, in the person of 
Claude Alloucz;, entered the same river from Lake ]Mieh- 
igan. Towards the end of October, 1G76, that veteran 
missionary, the apostle of Wisconsin and founder of 
all the principal mission-posts wdthin its borders, started 
from wliat is now Do Pere with two men to visit the 
Kaskaskia ^Mission, which Father ^Marquette had set up 
on the Illinois River as the final achievement of his 
all too l)ricf career. Detained by intensely cold weal her 
among the Potawatomi of Green Bay until Febriuuy, 
1677, Father Allouez then resumed his journey and 
about the middle of April reached the nioulh of the 
Chicago River. Here, or some distance up the stream. 


he met a band of eighty Indians by whom he was wel- 
comed with great display of cordiality. 

"Tlie Captain came about 30 steps to meet me, carrying 
in one hand a fire-brand and in the other a cahimet adorned 
with featliers. Aj^proaching me, he placed it in my mouth and 
lighted the tobacco, which obliged me to make pretense of 
smoking it. Then he made me come into his cabin, and having 
given me the place of honor, he spoke as follows: 

'My Father, have pity on me; suffer me to return with 
thee, to bear thee company and take thee into my village. 
The meeting that I have had with thee to-day will i^rove fatal 
to me if T do not use it to my advantage. Thou bearest to us 
the gosjDel and the prayer. If I lose the opportunity of 
listening to thee, I shall be punished by the loss of my 
nejihews whom thou seest in so great numbers: without doubt 
they will be defeated by our enemies. Let us embark then, 
in company, that I may profit by thy coming into my land.' 
That said, he set out at the same time as ourselves and shortly 
after, we arrived at his abode.^ " 

No further details of Father Alloiiez's visit in 1677 
to the site of Chicago are known outside of the few just 
cited, which he himself put on record. After him, other 
members of his Order, including Sebastian Rasles, 
James Gravier, Julian Binneteau and Gabriel ]\Iarest 
gave their services to the maintenance of the Kaskaskia 
i\Iission. The}' most probably made use of the Chicago 
portage on their way to the Mission from their head- 
quarters in Canada. One of their number, Father 
Gravier, set out from Chicago in 1700 on a journey 
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. ' ' I received 
on my return from Michilimackinak, " he wrote to a 

^Jesuit Belations, 60: 158. "In April, 1677, the party en- 
tered at last the river which leads to the Illinois, undoubtedly 
the stream now flowing- through Chicago." Mason, op. cit., p. 44. 


Till': (wiiioLic ciinu'ii in Chicago 

Ca velicr 
de la Salle, 

fi-iend. "the lett(M' lliat you diil me the lioiioi" of \vri1in<^ 
to mc l)y way of the Mississipy, addressed to Father 
Avcncau, who sent it to me at Chica^oiia — whence I 
started in 1700, on the 8th of September, to come here. "^ 
In December, IGSl, four years and more latei" 1hau 
liis arrival at the ("hica^o River, Allouez was foHowed 
there by the exploring pai'ty of La Salle and Tonty. 
In the ])arty was the Recollect Zenol)e ]\Ieml)re. who 
was later to lose his life at the hands of hostile Indians 
in the wilds of Texiis. Seven years more were to i)ass 
when in 1G88 the sad survivors of La Salle's last ex- 
ploring party passed through Chicago on their way to 
Canada. Joutel, whose Journal is a classic in the liter- 
ature of American exploration, led the group. Avliich 
included two priests, j\I. Cavelier de La Salle, a brother 
of the explorer, and the Recollect, Father Anastasius 
Douay. Bad weather kept the travellers at tlie Chicago 
River from ]\Iarch 29 to April 5, when they ])egan to 
paddle their canoes over the w^aters of Lake ^Micliigan. 
They had found Init little game at their stopping-place, 
but the maple trees furnished an abundance of syrup 
in which they boiled their Indian corn, "which made it 
delicious, sweet and of a very agreea])le relish."" 

^Jesuit liclations, (iO: 100. 

''Memoir of the Sicur De Tonty in French's Ilistorical Col- 
lections of Louisiana, 59. Joutel's Journal in Fkexcii's Ilist. 
Coll. Louisiana, 190. Joutel has this reference to Chicago : ' ' We 
wont on until Thursday the 25th when we arrived at a place 
called Chicagou, which, according 1o what we were told, has Ix'cmi 
so called on account of the quantity of garlic growing in this 
district i7i the woods. There is a small river there, formed from 
the drainage from a great plain or prairie at that place which 
flows straight into the lake, called, as I have said elsewhere, tlie 
Lake of the Illinois of Micliigan," Journal in Qi'AIKE, The De- 


Glancing back at our narrative, we see that five 
Catholic priests at least, Fathers Marquette, Allouez, 
Menibre, Cavelier de la Salle, and Douay, find mention 
in contemporary records as having visited the site of 
Chicago before the establishment there of the Jesuit „ 

^ _ Francois 

Mission of the Guardian Angel by Father Pinet towards Pinct 
the close of the seventeenth century. and the 

'' Mission of the 

We now come to a highly interesting episode that Guardian 
stands out phantom-like through the dim twilight of fgg^^^'^^^,^, 
early Chicago history. The substance of the fact is 
beyond dispute, but details are tantalizingly few. It is 
a truth scarcely recorded in the history books, so casual 
is the mention of it surviving in documentary sources, 
that on the site of Chicago or in its immediate vicinity 
there existed during the closing years of the sevcnteenih 
century a Catholic Mission conducted on behalf of the 
Miami Indians of the neighborhood. It was established 
under the name of the "Guardian Angel" in 1696 by 
the Jesuit Father Frangois Pinet and maintained by 
him until 1700, when it closed its doors. We get but 
a faint picture of this primitive establishment from the 
few meagre particulars that survive. As to its precise 

velopment of Chicago, p. 22. According to Joutel (Journal, 
p. 31), the Jesuits had built a fort at Chicago, a statement not 
in accordance with the facts. See in the Transactions of the 
Illinois Historical Society, a study by Mild Milton Quaife, 
"Was there a French fort at Chicago?" whicli query he answers 
in the negative. However, there is evidence, though perhaps not 
altogether decisive, that in 1682 or 1683 La Salle caused to be 
built at Chicago a small post or fort, which was afterwards 
strengthened by Tonty and La Forest. See Alvord, The Illinois 
Country, Centennial History of Illinois, 1: 89, 101. "After 
Marquette 's hut this was the first building on the site of 


location, investigators are not agreed, thoiigli all fix 
it Avithin the city limits of Chieago or a few miles be- 
yond. It has been plaeed on the banks of Lake Calumet^ 
as also on the margin of the marshy body of water 
known as the "Skokie," at a distance of two miles north 
of the city-limits of Evanston." A recent student of the 
l)rol)]om, rejecting the locations named, reaches the con- 
clusion that the Miami Mission of the Guardian Angel 
stood "on the Chicago River somewhere between the 
forks and the mouth," in what is now the very heart 
of the metropolis.^" At all events, then, the IMission was 
established either on the site of the modern Chicago or 
in close proximity to it, and this circumstance, coupled 
with the fact that it bore the city's name, Mission de 
L'Ange Guardien de CMcagou, lends it surpassing in- 
terest in the story of early Catholicism in Chicago. 
MM. Situated as it Avas on the route usually taken by 

Montujnv, missionaries from Canada as thev made their wav south 

Davion, j. ,^ • -• i -n . ' 

st.cosme, ^^ ^^^ missiou-posts ou the Illinois River, the :\Iission 

•''William Hexuy Lee, The Calumet Portage, in Transactions 
of the IUi7iois Uistorical Society, 1912. 

^Father Pierre Francois Pinet, S. J., and his Mission of the 
Guardian Angel of Chicago (L'Ange Guardien) 1696-1099. A 
paper read liefore a joint meeting of the Chicago Historical 
Society and the Evanston Historical Society in the Chicago His- 
torical Society Building, Nov. 27, 1906, by Frank R. Grover. 
Quaife, characterizing Grover 's study as uncritical, declines to 
accept the latter 's contention in favor of the "Skokie" or North 
Shore site of Father Pinet 's Mission. 

"Quaife, op. cit., p. 42. "From every point of view tiie 
study of St. Cosme's letter leads to the conclusion that the Mission 
of the Guardian Angel was on tlio Chicago River at some point 
between the forks and the mouth." Gurdon S. Hubbard in his 
Autobiography places Father Pinet 's Mission on the North branch 
of the Chicago River though on what evidence does not appear. 



of the Guardian Angel became a favorite halting-place 
for those sturdy pioneers of civilization in the IMissis- 
sippi Valley. Here, in October, 1698, Fathers Montigny, 
Davion and St. Cosine, of the Society of Foreign Mis- 
sions, who were commissioned by Bishop St. Vallier of 
Quebec to evangelize the Indians of the IMississippi 
country, were hospitably received by the resident Jesuit 
priests; and the incident, over two centuries removed 
from the present writing, brings home to us the interest- 
ing fact that even at that remote date civilization and 
Christianity were not unknown on the bleak stretch of 
morass and prairie that has since become Chicago. Be- 
fore leaving Canada the Montigny partly had held con- 
ferences lasting through seven days with the experienced 
Jesuit missionaries, Fathers Gravier and Carheil, who 
assured them that a cordial welcome awaited them in 
Chicago. ''Father Binneteau, as well as Father Pinet 
at Chicago, will find it a pleasure to render them every 
sort of service."" Of the reception they met with at 
Chicago Father St. Cosme wrote from the Arkansas 
under date of January 2, 1699 : 

"We remained five days at Kipikaoni [Racine, Wis.] St- Cosme's 
leaving- on tlie 17th and after being windbound on the 18th -^«*^^''' 
and 19th we camped on the 20th at a place five leagues from jjjgg 
Chikagou. We should have arrived there early on the 21st, 
but the wind which suddenly arose on the lake compelled us 
to land half a league from Chikagou. We had considerable 
difficulty in landing and in saving our canoes ; we had all to 
jump into the water. One must be very careful along the 
lakes, and especially Lake Michigan, whose shores are very 
low, to take to the land as soon as possible when the waves 

" Relation De La Mission Du Mississippi du Seminaire de 
Quebec en 1700 par Mm. De Montigny, De St. Cosine et Thaumur 
Du La Source, 65 (Shea, Cramoisy Press, New York, 1861). 


rise on the lake, for the rollei-s become so liigli in so short 
a time that one runs the risk of breaking his canoe and losing 
all it contains. Many travellers have already been wrecked 
thei-e. We, Monseigneur de Montigny, Davion and myself, 
went by land to the house of the Reverend Jesuit Fathers 
while our people renuiined behind. We found there Reverend 
Father Binneteau, who had i-ecently arrived from the Illinois 
country and was sliglitly ill. 

I cannot describe to you, my lord, with what cordiality 
and manifestations of friendship these Reverend Fathers re- 
ceived and embraced us while we liad tiic consolation ol' re- 
siding- with them. Their house is built on the bank of a small 
river, with the lake on one side and a fine and vast inaiiic 
on the other. The village of the savages contains over a 
hundred and fifty cabins and a league up the river is still 
another village almost as large. They are all Miamis. Reverend 
Father Pinet usually resides there cxcej^t in winter, when 
the savages are all engaged in hunting and then he goes to 
the Ilinois. We saw no savages there; they had already 
started for their hunt. If we may judge of the future from 
the short time that Reverend Father Pinet has passed in this 
mission we may believe that if God will bless the labors and 
zeal of that holy missionary there wall be a great number of 
good and holy Christians. It is true that but slight results 
are obtained Avith reference to the older persons, who are 
hardened in profligacy, but all the children are baptized, 
and the jugglers even, who are the most opposed to Chris- 
tianity, allow their children to be baptized. They are also 
very glad to let them be instructed. Several girls of a certain 
age and also many young boys have already been and are being 
instructed, so that we may hope that when the old stock dies 
off, they will l)e a new and entirely Christian i)c'(i|)le." 

At the departure of Father ]\Iontigny aiul his fellow- 
priests from the Jesuit Mission at Chicago, a young lad 
of their party lent an unexpected element of excitement 
to the routine of the journey by getting lost in the 
prairies. Thirteen days later he reappeared at the 


Mission-house utterly exhausted and out of his mind. 
Chicago's first "small boy" went on record as occasion- 
ing at least one spell of poignant anxiety to his elders. 
The incident is told by Father St. Cosine, as he con- 
tinues his letter: 

*'0n the 24tli of October the wind fell and we went for 
our canoes with all our effects, and finding that the water was 
extraordinarily low, we made a cache in the ground with some 
of them and took only what was absolutely necessary for our 
journey, intending to send for the remainder in the spring. 
We left Brother Alexandre in charge thereof, as he agreed to 
remain there with Father Pinet's man. We started from 
Chikagou on the 29th, and slept about two leagues from it 
on the little river [south fork of the Chicago river] that 
afterward loses itself in the prairies. On the following day 
we began the portage, which is about three leagues in length 
when t^he Avaters are low and is only one-fourth of a league 
in the Spring, for then we can embark on a small lake [Mud 
or Portage Lake] that discharges into a branch of the river 
of the Illinois, and when the waters are low a portage has to 
be made to that branch. On that day we got over half our 
portage and would have gone still further when we perceived 
that a little boy given us by Monsieur de Muis and who had 
set out alone although he was told to wait, was lost. We had 
not noticed it because all our people were busy. We were 
obliged to stop to look for him; everybody went and several 
gun-shots were fired but he could not be found. It was a 
rather unfortunate accident; we were pressed for time, owing 
to the lateness of the Season, and the waters being very low, 
we saw quite well, that as we were obliged to carry our 
luggage and our Canoe, it would take a long time to reach 
the Illinois. This compelled us to separate. Messieurs de 
Montigny, de Tonty and Davion continued the portage on the 
following day, while I with four other men went back to 
look for the little boy. While retracing my steps I met 
Fathers Pinet and Binneteau, who w-ere on the way w^ith 
two Frenchmen and a savage. We looked for the boy during 
the whole of that day also without finding him. As it was 

18 I'm: cA'i'iiohK" t'lirKcii ix Chicago 

llie day belorc the i'east of All Saints, I was (•(iinpcllfd to 
go to Chikayou for the night with our people. After ihcy 
had lieard Mass and performed their devotions early in the 
morning, they spent the whole of that day also looking for 
the little boy without getting sight of him. It was very 
difficult to find him in the long grass, for this country con- 
sists of nothing but prairies with a few groves of trees. We 
were afraid to set fire to the long grass lest we might burn 
the boy. JNIonsieur de Alontigny had told me to remain only 
one day, because the cold weather pressed us and this com- 
pelled me to proceed, after giving orders to Brother xVlex- 
andre to seek him and take some Frenchmen who Avere at 
("hikagou." '- 

111 April of 3699 Father ^[ontigny was again in 
Chicago, "liaving returned thither fi'oni the lower Mis- 
sissippi. To Father Bruyas, Jesuit Superior at Quebec, 
he wrote fi'oin CJiicago on Ai)ril 2;3 of that year a 

'= Kellogg, Earlii Narratives of the Northwest, p. 346. See 
also QuAiFE, The Development of Chicago, 1674-1914. Father 
St. Cosme and his companiou-pricsts in the course of their voyage 
down the ISIississippi cololirated Mass, Deeemljcr 8, 1698, on the 
ii;;ii( liaiilv of tlie river directly opposite tlie Tamaroa vilhige, 
near tlio later Cahokia. This location is evidently to be identitied 
with the site of St. Louis. We accordingly have here the earliest 
recorded exercise of the Christian ministry within the limits of 
the future metropolis. "Next day [Dec. 7 J alwut noon we 

reached the Taniarois l>iit did nut go to it as we wished 

to ]>repare for the f(>ast of the ('oii('e|i1 ion. Wo cabined on the 

other side of the river on the right next day, feast of the 

Conception, after saying our Masses, we went with M. Tonty and 
seven of our men well ai'med." 

Up to a period well within the nineteenth century custom 
sanctioned the prefix "Father," for the names of priests belong- 
ing to i-eligious orders, and the prefix ''Mr." for the names of 
l>riests not belonging to such orders. Conformably to ])r( sent -day 
usage, th(> writer has pr(>f'erreil to designate' all piiests unil'orndy 
as " Father. ' ' 

15 aa*t£fd^^ 

/ - ^ /- . ; 

The Reverend Mr. IMoiitigny, priest of the Society of Foreign Missions 
writes from "Chicagou," April 2?., 1699, to the Superior of the Society 
of Jesus in Quebec, advising him that the Jesuit missionary stationed in 
"Chieagoa" is overtaxing himself with the labors of the ministry. Prob- 
a])ly the oldest written communication dated from Chicago. Photostat copy 
from the hitherto unpublished original in the Congressional Library, Wash- 


,fir fut 


/\ .—J 



letter which is still preserved, being very prol)ably the 
oldest written communication from that locality known 
to exist.^^ 

"We are under too many obligations to your Fathers for 
the kind reception they have been ])leased to tender us not to 
give some exjjression of my gratitude. For your Fathers 
of Miehibmakinac, of Pimiteoui [Peoria] and of Chieagou 
have spared no pains to make us welcome. I declare to you 
I have been highly edified by their zeal, though of a surety 
I do not believe that they can bear up much longer under the 
severe hardships which they endure; I believe that you ought 
either to tell them not to take so much upon themselves or 
at least to send somebody to share with them the toils of 
their missions. I sjieak in particular of the one in Chicagou 
and of Father Binneteau, whom vv'e found in Chicagou quite 
exhausted after the rather serious illness he had passed 
through. I do not doubt that the gentlemen of the Seminary 
of Quebec will inform you, should you so desire, concerning 
the particulars of our journey, which, thanks be to God, has 
been a fairly prosperous one, the occasion which is a!)out 
to slip by not permitting me to write to you about it my- 
self, as I should wish to have done. I beg j'ou be persua:le;l 
that I am very truly in our Lord, 

My Reverend Father, 

Your very humble and obedient servant, 


From Chicagou, April 23, 1699." 

April 23, 

"M. Montigny a P. Bniyas, April 23, 1699. The original, 
in French, of Father Montigny 's Chicago letter of April 23, 
1699, liitlierto unpublished so far as the writer is aware, is in 
the Congressional Library, Washington. Shea has printed two 
Chicago letters in his Eelation, etc., (cf. note 11) one hy 
Thaumur la Source, April, 1699, and the other by Michael St. 
Cosnie [?] "de Chicago, ce Avril, 1699." "We [Montigny and 
la Source] arrived on Maunday Thursday at Chicagou, after 

making thirty leagues by land We are to start from 

Chicagou on Faster Monday. The finest country we have seen 


Few pnrtieiilars of 1he work of the Jesuit mission- 
avies at Chicago during the i)ei'iod KiOG-lTOO liave eoiiie 
down to us.^* Around the ^Mission were two Indian 
villages of one hundred and fifty cahins eaeli. Tlie most 
interesting fact recorded is the conversion by Father 
Pinet of the. Peoria chief who had previously resisted 
the zealous solicitations of Father Gravier at Kaskaskia. 
Yet, that the ]\Iission of the Guardian Angel at Chicago 
was a post of importance in the French dominions of 
the New World seems borne out by the fact tluit it clial- 
lenged the attention of Frontenac, Governor of Canada, 
who, in pursuance of his general jDolicy of unfriendliness 
to the Jesuit establishments, closed it in 1697. A|)peal 
having been made to the Bishop of Quebec, the mission- 
aries were enabled through his intervention to resume 
theii' ]a])ors. which, however, were not to continue long. 
For reasons not ascertainable now the ^Mission was closed 
permanently about the beginning of the eighteenth 
century. Father Pinet, its founder, withdrawing there- 
upon to the Tamaroa Indians, who were settled on the 
left bank of the ^Mississippi o])posite the ])oint on the 
right liank where Laclede was in later years to estal)lish 
the trading post that developed into St. Louis. Among 
the Tamaroa and the Cahokia he labored with exceHent 
I'csults, his little missioii-chai)el of the Holy Family 
being unable, on the testimony of Father Gravier. to 
contain the throng of Indians that Hocked to hear him. 
^Vhen the Tamai'oa with a consitlcM'able nuinbei' of the 

in all i.'< from riiir;ij;()u to the Tamaroas. It is iiotliini;- but 
prairip and (■luiiii>s of trees as far as you can see." 

"The few references to Father IMnet '.s Mission in the J(suit 
l!(hilioit.'i are gathered together in Frank R. Gover's ])a|ier cited 


French joined the Kaskaskia in their new home on the 
right bank of the Mississippi two leagues below the 
mission of the Holy Family, Father Pinet appears to 
have accompanied them; at all events, he died in their 
midst. He is the first clergyman known to have died 
in the territory that has since become the state of Mis- 
souri, the French-Kaskaskia-Tamaroa village which saw 
his last moments, Missouri's earliest settlement, having 
stood on the north bank of the Des Peres river at its 
mouth, a spot within the city-limits of the St. Louis of 
today. Francois Pinet, the first resident missionary- 
priest of Chicago, was likewise, it would appear, one of 
the first resident missionary-priests of St. Louis, thus 
furnishing in his person a most interesting link of 
association of over two centuries' standing between those 
two great cities of the Middle West.^^ 

"A Ijrief sketch of Father Pinet may be read in the Jcsidt 
delations, 64: 278. For an imaginative treatment of the Mission 
of the Guardian Angel of Chicago, see Jennie Hall's The Story 
of Chicago, 35. According to Shea, Mississipi)i Voyages, 53, 
note. Father Pinet died at Caholda about 1704, while the author- 
itative list of Jesuit missionaries prepared by Father Arthur 
Jones, S. J., of Montreal, for the Jesuit Relations, 71: 158, gives 
place and time of Father Pinet 's death as Chicago, July 16, 
1704. Both of these authorities are apparently to be set aside 
l)y the definitive contemporary testimony of Father Bergier ac- 
cording to which Pinet died among the Kaskaskia, August 1, 1702 
(Letter of Bergier, March 1, 1703, in Transactions of the Illinois 
Historical Society, 1905, p. 41). At the period of Pinet 's death 
at the River Des Peres, Father Bergier was living at Cahokia 
on the opposite bank of the Mississippi. The tradition locating 
a Jesuit mission at the mouth of the River Des Peres, Missouri, 
has recently been placed on a strictly historical l^asis by Rev. 
Laurence Kenny, S. J., of St. Louis University. Cf. St. Louis 
Catholic Historical Eevieiv, 1 : 151-156. 

22 'riii: catholic ciirRcn ix cincA(io 

AVilh llie elosin<i: ;il)()iit 1700 of Father Pincfs Mis- 
sion of the Guardian Angel at Chicago, a veil is thrown 
over the i-eligioiis history of the loeality for more than 
a cciitiu'y. Not until ITHG is the ])lace known to have 
()een visited again by a Catholic priest. It is safe indeed 
to assume that during this interval, one or more of the 
.lesuit missionaries stationed at Cahokia and Kaskaskia 
on the ^lississippi nmde use of the Chicago i)ortage on 
their way to and from headquai'ters in Canada ; l)ut no 
mention of any of their numhei- in such coiuieclion 
occurs in the Relaiions or other sources.^" In 1721 
Father Francois Charlevoix, Jesuit traveler and his- 
toi'ian. tlien visiting the region of the Great Lakes and 
the ]\lississippi country under a eonunission from the 
French government to investigate the problem of a 
trade-route to the Pacific Ocean, was at the Potawatomi- 
IMiami Mission on the St. Josei)h river near Niles. 
]Michigan. Thence, as his entertaining narrative informs 
us, his itinerary was to bi'ing him to the Illinois hy way 

Father Montigny, oiio of the party of priests of liie For- 
eion Missions who passed through Chicago in th(> autunni of 
1698, returned there for a visit the following spring. **I will 
inform you simply of that which took place in this Mission since 
our arrival from the Arkansas and since M. dc Montigny left it 
to go to Chicago, March 28, of the preceding year, 1G99. He 
left me here witii two men. I worked toward having my home 
liuilt anil had wood gathered for my chapel. I baptized smeral 
childr(>n ami upon Mr. Montigny 's return from Chicago, 1 had 
baptized thirty." Extract from a letter of Father St. Cosmo 
dated Tamarois, Mareli 1700, in the Transactions of the Illinois 
Jlistorical Society, 190S, p. 'I'M'). 

" In 1728 Father Dumas, S. J., accompanied a French mili- 
tary expedition to Chicago or its neighborhood where a band of 
Foxes and Kickapoo were routed in l)attle, many of them being 
killed. ALVOrin, The Illinois Country, 1673-1818, p. 16.''.. 


of ''the little river Chieagou'"; but the low stage of 
water in that stream made it neeessary for him to choose 
another route/" 

At the end of the seventeenth century the ^Miami 
Indians were settled on the site of Chicago or in its 
immediate vicinity.^* Having shifted their habitat at 
a later period to the southeast, to what is now northern 
and central Indiana, they w^ere followed in the Chicago 
region by the Potawatomi, who remained there until 
the removal of the tribe to the West by the G-overnment 
in 1835. At the treaty of Greenville in 1795 the Pota- 
Avatomi ceded to the United States as a site for a 
government fort a tract six miles square at the mouth 
of the Chicago River, the innermost area of the metrop- 
olis that was to be. 

I pioneer 

After the eclipse into whicli it passed for the first settiers, 
six decades of the eighteenth centurv, that point on the ^^ Compt, 

" ' . Guane, 

map again comes into view as a place of human habita- rointc de 
tion with the alleged arrival about 1765 of Madame '!,"'.^'''',, 

^ Ouumette, 

La Compt nee La Flamme, Ijorn at St. Joseph on Lake LeMai, 


"Charlevoix, A voyage to North America, Dulilin, 1766, Kimie. 
Letter XXVI, 139. "I think I informed you in my last, that I 
had the Choice of Two Ways to go to Illinois: The first was, 
to return to Lake Micliioan, to coast on the South Shore, and 
to enter into the little River Chicagou. After going up it five 
or six leagues, they pass into that of the Illinois, by the means 
of two Portages, the longest of which is but a league and- a 
quarter. But as this River is but a Brook in this place, I was 
informed that at that time of the year I should not find water 
enough for my canoe; therefoio I took the other route, which 
has also its inconveniences, and is not near so pleasant, l>ut it is 
the nearest." See also Quaife, op. cit., 45. 

^^ Handbook of American Indians (Bureau of American Eth- 
nology), I, Art. Miami. 


Michigan." Here is a curious, almost half-mythical 
figure, as seen througli the ])rcvailing haze that envelops 
this period of Cliicago history. Next in succession to 
Madame La Compt arrives a trader by the name of 
Guarie, whom tradition represents has having had a 
house on the North Branch as early as 1778. Then, 
al)out 1790, came the San Domingo negro or mulatto, 
Jean Baptistc Pointe dc Saible.-'* lie was a trader by 
occupation and according to one account had so in- 
gratiated liimself with the Potawatomi that he aspired 
to become their chief. By Col. De Pcyster, British Com- 
mandant at Detroit, he is touched off in an official 
report as a '"'well educated and handsome negro." 
Pointe de Saible built his cabin close to the north bank 
of the river at the foot of the former Pine Street, 
where now the new massive boulevard bridge spans the 
river. Here he remained until about 179G, when he 
withdrew to Peoria, or, according to another account, 
to the region of St. Louis. Before his departure he dis- 
posed of his cabin to Francis Le Mai, a French-Canadian 
trader, who in time sold it to John Kinzie when the 

" By far the most critical study of the successive arrivals 
of the pioneer settlers of Chicago is to be found in Mild Milton 
QUATFE's Chicago and fJir Old Xnrtliwcst, 1673-1835 (University 
of Cliicago Press, liH.'l), to which reference has already been 
made. For notices of JVIadamo La Compt and Guarie, see Quaife, 
(ip. cit., VM. Madame La Compt, later Mrs. Brady, died at 
Cahokia at the age of 106 years. According to Reynolds, Pioneer 
History of Illinois, Belleville, 1852, p. 136, she settled in Chicago 
witli lier first luisV)and, " Sarnte Ange or Pelate, as he was some- 
times called," aliout the year 1765. Reynolds, who apparently was 
so informed by Madame La Cdiniil herself, is the oidy iiutliority 
for the statement. 

-"Quaife, op. cit.. 138-142. 


latter arrived in Chicago in 1804.^^ Enlarged and im- 
proved by its third owner, this building achieved local 
fame as the Kinzie ^Mansion, the first chronologically of 
that vast forest of human habitations which is Chicago. 
To the names of Pointe de Saible and Le Mai must be 
added those of Antoine Ouilmette and Louis Pettel or 
Fettle to complete the list of persons who are known 
to have settled at the mouth of the Chicago River prior 
to 1805. As Antoine Ouilmette took up his residence 
there as early as 1790, he is perhaps entitled to the 
distinction of being the first white settler of Chicago, 
if WT except the claims to priority, doubtful at the 
best, of ]Madame La Compt and Guarie."- Interesting 
as are these remote occupations of Chicago land by 

-^ Tlio identity of the Uc Sail^le and Le Mai ea1)in with the 
Kinzio "mansion" in its primitive stages of construftion is as- 
serted by Andreas. 

-- Blanchakd, Chicago and the Northivest, 1: 574. Quaife 
does not accept without reserve Ouilmette 's statement that he 
settled at Chicago in 1790. All available information concerning 
this interesting figure on the stage of early Chicago history has 
been collected by Frank R. Grover in his brochure, Some Indian 
Land Marks of the North Shore , pp. 177-290. Ouilmette 's wife, 
Archange, a Potawatomi, was awarded a reservation of two 
sections of land by the Treaty of Prairie du Chien, 1829. "The 
reservation extends from a point a little south of Kenilworth to 
Central Street in the city of Evanston, with the Lake as the 
eastern boundary and extending west of the Northwestern Rail- 
way. It contains two full sections of 1280 acres of land, some 
300 lying in the city of Evanston and the remainder comprising 
the greater part of the land in Wilmette Village." The Evanston 
portion of the reservation was sold by Ouilmette 's children in 
1844-45 at $1.50 an acre. Two of his daughters were still living 
in 1905 in Kansas. Wilmette is of course an Americanized spell- 
ing for Ouilmette. 


adventurous ])iont'ei's. they can scarcely be said to iiave 
given rise to the future city. The event that really 
determined the growtli of a center of population at the 
outlet of the Chicago River was the establishment there 
in 1803 of Fort Dearborn by Captain John AV lustier, 
V. S. A. Burnt to the ground by the Indians in the 
historic massacre of 1812, the l^'ort \vas rel)uilt in 1816 
and around it as a nucleus the various elements of a 
new settlement gradually took shape. Ca])tain AYhistler 
was born in Ireland in 1758. In the opinion of Quaife, 
than whom no one has written more authoritatively of 
Cliicago beginnings, if any individual may with ])ro- 
priety be called the "Father" of the modern city, it is 
Captain John AYhistler. 

Of the earliest residents of Chicago mentioned in 
the ])receding paragraph, all, ])robably without excc])- 
tion, were Catholics or had Catholic connections.-"' On 
October 7, 1799, a party of Chicago residents, "halntans 
a Chicagou" were in St. Louis enlisting the services of 
the acting pastor of the ])lace, the Recollect, Father 
Lusson, for the baptism of their children. The i)arty 
included Francis Le ]\Iay [Mai] and his wife, Alarie 
Therese Roy and Jean Baptiste Peltier and the latter 's 
Avife. Susanne Pointe de Saible, Josej)!! and ]\Iarie 

-^ Rol)('i-t, son of Joliii I\iiizi(>, was liaptizrd in Cliicaj;"o, 
April 2;i, ls:;7, l>y leather Timothy O'iNIoaia, ln'ino- then twenty- 
eiyht vciirs of age. Gwonthloan, dauj;'lit('r of Robert Kinzie and 
Gwonthh^an Harriet Whist'ler, daughter of Major William 
Whistler, was baptized in Chieao-o, September 2, 1838, by Bishop 
]'>rut('. Robert Kinzie was huiied from St. James's Catholic 
Cluirch, the officiating priest being Father Patrick Riordan, the 
future Archbishop of San Francisco. With regard to Major 
William Whistler, son of Captain John Whistler, see note 42, p. 44. 


Therese Le May []\Iai] and Eulalie Peltier were the 
names of the children baptized. The godfather of Marie 
Therese Le May [Mai] was Pierre Cadet Chouteau, 
grandson of Madame Terese Chouteau, the '"mother"' 
of St. Louis.-'" To these interesting entries in the bap- 
tismal register of the St. Louis Cathedral may be added 
an entry in a register of the church of St. Francis of 
Assisi, Portage des Sioux, Missouri, which records the 
marriage there on July 27, 1819, of Domitille Pettelle of 
"Chicagow" and Jean Evangelist Sicard of St. Joseph, 
Quebec.-* As far as can be ascertained the above take 
precedence chronologically over all other recorded 
baptisms and marriages of residents or former residents 
of Chicago or vicinity if we except the baptism at 
Mackinac in June, 1764, of Louis Amiot, who was 
born "at the river Aux Plains, near to Chicago."-^ 

In 1S15 the French Catholics settled in Chicago ap- 
pear to have been numerous enough to call for special 
mention in a report on conditions in his diocese ad- 

'-^^' Le meme jour et I'an [7 October 1799] Eulalie ne'e huit 
October, 1796, da legitime marriage du Sr. Jean Baptiste Peltier 
et du Dlle Susanne point de Saible Son epouse habits a Chicagou 
le parain a etc le Sr hyacinth Saint Cyr et la marain Dlle helene 
hebert son epouse — ct ce en presence of M. et Madame le May 
et de plusieurs autrcs C[ni out signe leur marque ordinaire. 

The baptismal and other registers of the Okl Cathedral of 
St. Louis are preserved in the Chancery office of the Archdiocese 
of St. Louis. 

-•' Transci-ipt of the Poi-tage des Sioux Registers in the St. 
Louis University Archives. 

-^ Father Du Jaunay, Jesuit missionary, liaptizcd at Mackinac 
in June, 176-i, ''Louis, legitimate son of Amiot and Marianne 
his wife, said infant born at the river Aux Plains near to Chicago 
early in October last." Edwix O. Wood, Historic Mackinac, 
1: 108. 

28 Tin: ca'iiioijc ciukcii in ("iiicago 

dressed in that yeai- l)y IJisliop Flaget of Bardslown to 
the Holy See. "jMoreover, I heard during my excursion 
that in the very midst of the Indians were four French 
congregations belonging to my diocese ; one on the upper 
^Mississippi, another in a ])lace usually designated as 
Chicagou, still another on the shores of Lake Michigan 
and a fourth towards the source of the Illinois River; 
but lack of time and the prevalence of war have pre- 
vented me from visiting them.""" It is interesting to 
note in this connection that the locality of Chicago was 
up to this period successively under the ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction of the dioceses of Quebec, Baltimore and 
Bardstown. It remained attached to Quebec approx- 
imately from the last cjuarter of the seventeenth century 
up to the erection in 1784 of the Prefecture Apostolic 
of the United States, to which it was then transferred 
with the rest of the former French possessions east of 
the Mississippi. From the Prefecture- Apostolic of the 
United States, which became the diocese of Baltimore 
in 1789, it passed to Bardstown when that sec was 
erected in 1808 with the old NorthAvest Territory in- 
cluded in its jurisdiction.-' 

■° A traiisiM'ipt of the Lutin oii^iiial is in tlic St. Louis Uni- 
versity Archives. The document is dated Bardstown. April 11. 
ISlo. It has recently been reproduced with English translation 
and annotations in the Catholic Ilistorical Eevieiv, 1: 305. Hub- 
bard, the pioneer fur-trader, states that on his arrival in Chicago 
in 1818, there were only two French families living in the jilaee, 
those of A. Ouilmette and J. B. Beaul)ien. llie Autobiography 
of Gnrdon Saltonstall Uubbard, Lakeside Press, Chicago, p. ."^9. 
The ' ' French congregation ' ' at Chicago, referred to by Bishoji 
Flaget in his report of 1815, evidently included Catholics residing 
in the outlying districts. 

"'Chicago was apparently for a while in the diocese of De- 


2i&^ / 

Fatlier Gabriel Richard, of the Society of St. Suplice, wlio said Mass and 
preached in Chica<io in 1S21. He was delegate to Conp;rcss from Michigan 
Territory, a nnitiuc distinction, as no other Catholic cleroynian of the 
country has held similar otlrice. His statue, with Cadillac's, adoins the 
facade of the City Hall of Detroit, with which metropolis, in its jnoneer 
stage of development, his ministerial career is chielly identitied. Original 
painting by Lewis, dated ai)])roxiinatcly IS^S-lSliO, now the property of the 
University of Detroit, to which it was juesented in 1912 by the daugliters 
of Mrs. Elenore St. Amour Thompson. Courtesy of the University of 


During all these years the Chicago district was left oairici 
without the ministrations of a Catholic priest. From ^'';'''""<'' 
the passing of Father Pinet at the dawn of the 
eighteenth century down to 1821 no exercise of the 
Catholic ministry is on record as having taken place 
at the mouth of the Chicago River or in its vicinity.-'" 
The distinction of being the first clergyman kno^v^l to 
have officiated there after that interval belongs to 
Father Gabriel Richard, who arrived in Cliicago from 
Detroit in September, 1821. 

"rifteen days later, thirty days in all from Mackinac, I 
arrived at a post called Chicago, near a little river of the same 
name, ten leagues to the northwest of the southernmost point 
of Lake Michigan. I said Mass in the house of a Canadian 
and preached in the afternoon to the American garrison. 

^ Business of another kind brought me to Chicago. I had 
been invited by one of the Potawatomi chiefs, who lived near 
the old Jesuit mission of St. Joseph, situated on a river of 
the same name, to be present at a treaty in Chicago which 
the Indian tribes were going to make at that place with his 
Excellency, our Governor [Cass]. Contrary winds having 
detained me two weeks or twenty days longer than I ex- 
pected, it fell out that the treaty was over (when I arrived). 
I had hoped to be able to support the Indians in the petition 

troit, the original southern line of tliat diocese, as erected in 
1833, having i-un from the mouth of the Maumee west to the 
Mississippi. A reproduction of a contemporary map indicating 
Chicago as within the limits of the diocese of Detroit accom- 
panies Dean O'Brien's sketch of the Detroit diocese in the 
Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collection, 9: 135. 

"'' Rev. Michael Levadoux, a Sulpician, passed tlirough Chi- 
cago in 1790 on his way from Cahokia to Detroit. "Then, con- 
tinuing my journey, I reached the borders of Lake Micliigan, 
that is to say, a village called Chicago. I remained there only a 
day and a lialf. I was visited Ijy a great Indian chieftain and a 
large number of his braves, I embarked on the Lake the Sth of 
July." Eecords American CatJiolic Uistorical Society, 20: 259. 


which they were going to present and which they did actually 
present for a Catholic priest at St. Joseph's like the Jesuits. 
The outcome of it all was that they were given a Baptist 
missionary." -^ 

The Canadian in whose liouse Father Richard said 
IMass on this occasion was, in all probability, Jean 
Ba])tiste Beaubien, Indian trader and agent of the 
American Fur Company at Chicago, who settled there 
permanently shortly after the Fort Dearborn massacre.'® 
His home at the period of Father Richard's visit was in 
the so-called "Dean House", which he purchased in 
1817 from a Mr. Dean, sutler to the Fort, and wliich 
stood south of that structure and near what is now 
the intersection of Randolph Street and Michigan Ave- 
nue."" Here, then, was apparently offered up the first 
Mass in Chicago after it had become a settlement of 
w'hite people. As to the discourse preached by the mis- 
sionary to the garrison, it may safely go on record as 
the first sermon preached in modern Chicago. The 
language of the sermon appears to have been English, 
as the soldiers could have understood no other, and as 
Father Richard, though a native-born Frenchman, had 
learned by this time to express himself with more or less 
ease in the tongue of his adopted country.^^ Corrol)or- 

■'* Annalcs de la Propagation dc la Foi, ,3: 342. 
""The precise date of J. B. Roaiilnon's permanent scUk'nicnt 
in rinoa<^o appears to be open to (lis[)iit('. See Quaife, op. cit., 


""AXBKEAS, Op.cit.,1. 

'' A statement attriljutod to the pioneer Baptist missionary, 
Isaac McCoy, is interesting in tliis connection. ' ' In the forepart 
of October I attended at Chicago, tlie payment of an annuity 
by Dr. Wolcott, United States Indian Agent, and, through his 
])oliteness, addressed the Indians on the subject of our mission. 
On tlic 9th of October, 1825, I preached in English, which, as I 


ative evidence on this latter point is supplied by the 
fact that in 1823 the missionary was elected delegate to 
Congress from ^Michigan Territory, being the only 
Catholic priest who ever held a seat in the National 
House of Representatives. It is significant that this 
priest, who was the first clergyman to preach the word 
of God in Chicago, should have put that place under 
other obligations to him by rendering it services of a 
material order — for the only speech he made in Congress 
was one urging the opening of a puljlic highway between 
Chicago and Detroit.^" 

Nine years were to pass before another Catholic ^^tcphen 
priest was to set foot in Chicago. In October, 1830, Badin,is3o 
Father Stephen Theodore Badin, the first priest or- 
dained in the United States, made a missionary excur- 
sion to Chicago from the Catholic Potawatomi Mission 
near Niles, INIiehigan, of which establishment he was 
resident pastor. 

"I am on my way to Chicago or Fort Dearborn on the 
west shore of Lake Michigan in the state of Illinois, fifty 
miles from here; no priest has been seen there since eight 
[nine] years ago, when Mr. Kiehard paid the place a visit. 
Along the entire route I shall not come across a single house 
or hut. I am waiting here for a party of good Cfitholic Indi- 
ans, Chief Pokegan at head of them, who are charged with 
the carrying of my chapel equiiiment. I had started out with.- 
out them in order to avail myself of the company of two 
Canadians, whose services I engaged as interpreters, and who 

am informed, was the first sermon ever delivered at or near 
that place." Andreas, o}). cit., 1: 288. 

^- Catholic EncycJopedia, art. Bev. Gabriel Bicliard. Import- 
ant articles on Father Richard are to be found in the volumes of 
the Collections and EesearcJics of the Michigan Pioneer and His- 
torical Society. 


must l)y this tiiiu' have ai-i'ixcd in Chicago, where I intended 
to celebrate the divine mysteries on Holy Rosary Sunday; 
but fearing that my Indians would not come up in time, T 
stopped at the river ("alamic [Grand Calumet] in the hope 
of receiving my chapel tliis evening or tomorrow morning. 
Besides, if I had continued on the way with the two Canadians, 
I should have found it necessary to slee]> in the open, a thing 
I thought nothing of at one time — hul when a man is beyond 
sixty, he must avoid that sort of thing, unless he be accus- 
tmued to live like the Indians and tradei's, to whom it is all 
one whether they sleep indoois or outdoors. 

Man i)roposes, God disposes. My party of Indians ar- 
rived three days too late, and I was put to the necessity of 
si^ending the night in the woods ten miles from Chicago. I 
found there another band Ironi the Kickapoo tribe, who live 
in an immense prairie in Illinois, along the Vermilion river 
at a distance of about one hundred miles from Chicago. 
Some time before these good people had sent their compli- 
ments to Chief Pokegan. telling liim at the same time that 
they envied him the hapi)iness of liaving a pastor." ^■' 

The letter of Father Badin from which the above 
passage is cited is silent about his work in Chicago on 
the occasion of this visit of 1830.^* It is said that he 

^'' .InnaUs dr la Propanation di la fox, (! : 154. 

^'According to G. S. Hul)bard in the Chicago Evening Jour- 
nal, April 29, 1SS2, Father Badin baptized in Chicago, Alexander 
Beaubieu and his two sisters INIoniquc aud Julia aud also the 
mixed blood Potawatomi chief, Alexander Robinson. The state- 
ment cannot be verified. Though the name of Father Theodore 
Steplieii Badin, tlie first prirst ordained in Tlir United States, 
has found its way into sdinc ac<i>uiits of early Catholicity in 
Chicago as that of tlie first ck'rgynian to visit the place after 
the passing of the early Jesuit missionaries, a diligent sifting 
of tlie Instorical evidence bearing thereon fails to bring the 
Father mentioned into any such connection. Unfortunately, the 
baptismal records and the otlier memoranda covering the early 
period of Father Badin 's long missionary career were lost or 


attended the town more than onee from his Potawatomi 
jMission on the St. Joseph, conducting services in Fort 

destroyed at some time during his stay with the Potawatomi at 
the Catholic mission-center near Niles, Michigan. (Cf. Spalding, 
Sketches of Early Kentitcl-y, Preface). That Badin was in 
Chicago in 1796 is asserted by Axdreas, History of Chicago, 1: 
288, and by Hurlburt, Antiquities of Chicago, .382. Tlie source 
of the assertion may be traced to a communication to the Chicago 
Evening Journal for April 29, 1882, from the pen of Gurdon 
Saltonstall Hubbard, one of the pioneer settlers of the city. 
Therein the writer declares that Father Badin, on the occasion 
of a visit to Chicago in 1846, presented Mrs. John Murphy, a 
resident of the city since 1836, with a book of a religious char- 
acter containing his autograph, saying to her, "this is the fiftieth 
anniversary of ray arrival in Chicago. ' ' This oliviously would fix 
the date of Father Badin 's first visit to Chicago as 1796. It is 
difiicult, however, to reconcile this alleged date with certain well 
anthenticated circumstances of the priest 's early career. Between 
the years 1793 and 1819, Father Badin was a missionary in 
Kentucky, nor docs it apjjear that he made an extended journey 
outside of the state at any time during that i^eriod except once 
in 1806, when he accompanied Bishop Flaget on an episcopal 
visitation to Vincennes. In a brochure from the i)en of Father 
Badin published in Paris in 1821 under the title progrcs de la 
Mission du Kentucky and also published in the Annales de la 
Fropagation de la Foi and reproduced in an English translation in 
the Catholic World for September, 1875, the writer states that he 
was the sole priest in Kentucky from April, 179-4, to 1797. Dur- 
ing this period the nearest Catholic clergyman to him was Rev. 
Mr. Rivet, stationed at Vincennes on the Wabash River, with 
whom he exchanged letters but whom he could not visit owing 
to the demands made upon his time by the scattered Kentucky 
missions. "But the respective needs of the two missions never 
permitted them [Fathers Badin and Rivet] to cross the desert 
in order to visit one another or to offer mutual encouragement 
and consolation in the Lord." {Catholic World, 21: 826). If 
Father Badin, during the period 1794-1797 could not afford a 
visit to his fellow priest at Vincennes, it seems quite improbable 


Deai'l)orn. on which occasion ^Tr. Anson Taylor essayed 
to discharge the duties of ^lass-servei- ; l)ut no record 

that he found time to make a journey of at least twice the 
distance, such as would bring him to Chicago or what was to 
become such. Moreover, it is significant that Father Badin, 
though he comments in the brochure referred to on the hardships 
of a missionary's life in early Kentucky, makes no mention 
therein of a journey to the shores of Lake Michigan in 1796, 
an incident highly deserving of record, had it taken place, nor 
does Archbishop Spalding in his Kentucky Sketches, a work which 
supplies many additional details of Father Badin 's pioneer days 
down to 1826, make mention of any missionary journey under- 
taken by the latter in that direction. Finally, the matter appears 
to be put beyond dispute by Father Badin 's own letters written 
from Kentucky during the period 1796-1799, in which he makes 
absolutely no mention of any journey of his outside the state, 
but on the contrary declares his purpose not to leave his parish- 
ioners for any great length of time for fear some of them should 
die without the sacraments. Hccords of the American Catholic 
Historical Society, 19: 258-275, 454-482. It is impossible there- 
fore, in the face of the strong available evidence to the contrary, 
to accept without reserve the statement that Father Badin was 
in Chicago in 1796. As to the incident referred to above as 
occurring between Father Badin and Mrs. John Murphy some 
confusion of dates in the reporting of it would seem to have 

In the case of Father Badin 's alleged visit to Chicago in 
1822, the evidence to the contrary is more direct. (For mention 
of this visit cf. Catholic Encyclopedia, art. Archdiocese of Chi- 
cago; also Moses Kirklaxd, History of Chicago 2: 303. "He, 
[Father Badin] probably never made this point [Chicago] his 
home, but that he returned in 1822 is shown by an authentic 
record of the baptism in that year of Alexander Beaubien. As 
far as known, this was the first administration of the sacrament 
to any white person within the neighborhood of Fort Dearborn." 
KiKKLAND. In a letter of Father Badin descriptive of his 
missionary labors at the Potawatomi mission near Xiles, Michigan, 
which was published in the Annales de la Propagation de la 

Father Stcphon Theodore Badin, fust Catholic priest oidained 
in the United States, who conducted services in Chica<;o in Octo- 
ber, 1830. From an engraving preserved in Saint Mary's Sem- 
inary, Baltimore, the portrait l)eing an excellent likeness of the 
subject according to the testimony of the Reverend P. P. Denis, 
S. S., a personal acquaintance of Father Badin 's. 


of any visit to Chicago other than the one mentioned 
above is to be found in his pul)lishcd letters.^"' The 

Foi, 6: 154, he narrates a missionary excursion which he made 
to Chicago in 1830. He prefaces his account, which is extremely 
meagre in details, with the statement that no Catholic priest 
had been in Chicago since Father Gabriel Richard's visit. This 
he declares to have taken place eight years previous to his own 
visit of October, 1830. (Father Badin is in error here. Father 
Richard's visit occurred nine years before, in September, 1821. 
Cf. Annales de la Propagation de La Foi, 3: 342). The inference 
therefore must be drawn that Father Badin, on his own admission, 
was not in Chicago between September, 1821, and October, 1830. 

As to the authentic record of the baptism of Alexander 
Beaubien by Father Badin at Chicago in 1822, to which Kirkland 
'makes reference in the passage cited above, no evidence that 
such record exists has come to hand. Edwin O. Gale in his 
Beminiscences of Early Chicago and Vicinity, 131, gives the date 
of Alexander Beaubien 's baptism by Father Badin as 1829. "His 
[Jean Baptiste Beaubien 's] son, Alexander, who was born here 
on January 28, 1822, claims at this writing. May 1900, to be the 

oldest living person born in the place he believes himself 

to be the first child baptized in this vicinity. Father Stephen T. 
Badin was a Catholic priest who came to Chicago with the Indians 
from St. Joseph's Mission and stopped at the Colonel's house, 
where the baptism took place in 1829, as there was no church 
in Chicago at that time." 

The dates 1822 and 1829 for the alleged liaptism of Alex- 
ander Beaubien by Father Badin, besides being irreconcilable 
with the missionary's certain absence from Chicago during the 
period 1821-1830, must also be set aside through evidence fur- 
nished by the Baptismal Eegister of St. Mary's Church, Chicago, 
which contains an entry in Father St. Cyr 's handwriting, attesting 
the baptism on June 28, 1834, of Alexander Beaubien, son of 
Jean Baptiste Beaubien and Josette Lafromboise. 

For a sketch of Father Badin, cf. Rev. N. J. Howlet in 
Historical Eecords and Studies, U. S. Catholic Historical Society, 
4: 101 et seq. 

^' Beminiscences of Augustine D. Taylor, Historical Scrap- 


l)aptisiiial and marriage records of liis eai'ly missionary 
career are no longer extant, having been lost some time 
during his stay among the Potawatomi. The presence 
of Chief Pokegan in Father Badin's retinue as carrier 
of the altar equipment lends an interesting touch to 
the missionary's visit to Chicago in October, 1830. Few 
more appealing portraits of Indian virtue are on record 
than that of this well known civil chief of the St. Joseph 
Potawatomi, whom a tradition, more picturesque than 
authentic, represents as having rowed the Kinzies 
across the waters of Lake ^lichigan from the smoking 
ruins of Fort Dearborn to a place of safety on the St. 
Pioneer Chicago was incorporated as a town in June, 1833, 

Laymen- ^^^ ^^'^^ clcction of towu-trustces taking place in August 
jcanBaptiste of that ycar."' The Catliolics in and around the place 


l)0(ik, Lilirarv of St. lonatius College, Chicago. "Father Badin 
would come here to celebrate serTices at the headquarters of 
Col. Whistler in the garrison. Anson Taylor would try to assist 
him. but did not know the prayers." 

''■ Charles H. Baktlett, Talcs of Eonkakte Land. The sup- 
posed rescue of the Kinzies by Pokegan (Pokagon) and Tope-in- 
a-bee furnishes the theme of one of these stories of the Potawa- 
tomi Indians along the Kankakee valley. Interesting side-lights 
on the character of Pokegan will be found in the An naif s de la 
Propagation de la Foi, 6: 154-1G5. 

37 < < rpj^g close of the year 1833 found Chicago a legally or- 
ganized town. Its population at the time has been variously 
estimated at from one hundred and fifty to one thousand. No 
record of any enumei'ation of the inhal)itants is extant, and all 
statements as to the actual population at that time are estima- 
tions based on the whims, impressions and rumors of the time. It 
required a poi)ulation of 150 to form a corporate town organiza- 
tion, and it is Imt probable that Chicago had more tlian the 
recpiii-ed numlx'r. Ba.sed on the number of voters (twenty-eight) 

Col. Jean Baptistc Braiilucii, pictintsquo civilian figure in 
the village days of Chicago. A native of Detroit, where he was 
liorn in 1787, lie settled shortly after tiie Fort Dearborn massacre 
in Chicago and there took up and followed with success the 
occupation of Indian tradei-. In 1817 he purchased the Dean 
house, within the limits of the Fort Deaiborn reservation, to 
which tract he afterwards laid claim, the litigation that thereupon 
ensued being a cause celebre among Chicago land-suits. The 
projierty at stake, embracing the city-blocks between the River, 
the Lake, Madison and State Streets ivpresented real-estate hold- 
ings of fabulous value today. The chain-of -title of the Mont- 
gomery "Ward and Company property at Michigan Avenue and 
Madison Street, originally (1839) purchased by Father O'Meara 
from the Goveinment as a second site for Saint Mary's Church, 
includes a quit-claim deed from Col. Beaubien, whose claim 
to the Fort Dearl)orn reservation was in the end definitely re- 
jected by the United States Supreme Court. 


numbered at this time about one hundred and thirty. As 
the total population of the town, according to a calcula- 
tion made by Andreas on the basis of the poll-list of the 
election of August, 1833, did not exceed 140 at that date, 
the Catholics must have comprised the larger part of 
the inhalntants. The majority of them were either pure 
French or of mixed French and Indian blood. The most 
conspicuous figure among the Chicago Catholics was 
Jean Baptiste Beaubicn. He was born in Detroit of a 
French-Canadian family settled there early in the 
eighteenth century. A quick, shrewd intelligence, com- 
bined with a good address and a fair degree of educa- 
tion enabled him to take an important and often a 
controlling part in public affairs. Probably it is a 
testimony to his standing in the community greater 
than may at first sight appear that he presided in the 
capacity of moderator over the meetings of the village 
debating society, the first organization of its kind 
Chicago knew. His claim to a large tract of land on 
the lake-front in Chicago, the same on which he had 
settled as early as 1817, though allowed by the State 
Supreme Court of Illinois, was rejected by the Supreme 

at the first election and allowing a population of 5 to each voter, 
the resident population was 140 in August, 1833, at the time the 
first election was held." Andreas, 1: 129. 

The petition addressed in April, 1833, by the Catholics of 
Chicago to Bishop Rosati of St. Louis declared their number to 
be 100. The signers of this petition, together with the members 
of their families, actually numbered 128. Patrick Shirreflf, an 
English traveller who visited Chicago in 1833, estimated the 
number of houses in the town at about a hundred and fifty; 
from which it would appear that Andreas 's estimate of the popu- 
lation of the town at that date as only one hundred and fifty 
is considerably below the mark. See Quaife, op. cit., 349. 


Court of the United States, and lie tasted the bitter 
experience of seeing liis home sohl over his head."^ 

'*Huulbukt's Chicago Antiquities, pp. 302-.'j26, " Beaubi- 
eniana," contains detailed information about the famous " Beau- 
bien Claim." Sec also Andreas, History of Chicago, I, for 
sketches of Jean Baptiste Beaubien (p. 84) Mark Beaul)icn 
(p. 106) Alexander Robinson (p. 108) and Billy Caldwell (p. 
108). The Beaubiens of Detroit were conspicuous in the early 
history of that city. The Antoine Beauluen farm of over three 
hundred acres included the g,round now covered in part by the 
buildings of the University of Detroit and until recently by the 
Convent of the Sacred Heart on Jeffersoji Avenue, the site and 
endowment for the latter being a gift to the nuns from Antoine 
Beaul)ien. An idea of the numerous connections of the Detroit 
Beauljiens may be gathered from the fact that their names alone 
fill about one hundred and twenty-pages in Father Christian 
Denissen's monumental Genealogy of Detroit French Families, 
now preserved in MS. in the Burton Historical Collection of De- 

It is interesting to note in this connection that Colonel 
Jean Baptiste Beaubien was a claimant to an interest in the 
Antoine Beaubien farm in Detroit, and on one occasion attempted 
to institute ouster proceedings against property-owners in the 
district ; but he was as unsuccessful in having his Detroit claim 
allowed by the courts as he was in the case of his Chicago 
claims. For a contemporary protest against the ejection of 
Colonel Beaubien from his Chicago home on Michigan Avenue, 
within the limits of the old Fort Dearborn Reservation, see the 
Daily American, June 18, 1S?)0 (Chicago Historical Collection). 
"Shall the veteran citizen who lias resided here during all Die 
horrors of savage warfare, who lias undergone all tlie privations 
and vicissitudes of l)oiiler life for more than twenty years — shall 
he be forced to seek another resting place for his aged limbs? 
Shall he be forced to provide a new home for his wife and little 
ones? Shall he, the hospitable and generous old man whom we 
all know and respect be driven from a little remnant of the 
soil for which he fought and in which some of his offspring 
repose in everlasting sleep? Justice, humanity and Christian 


Mark, a younger brother of Jean Baptiste Beaubien, MarJc 

was also a notable figure in the pioneer stage of Chicago 
history. He came to the place in 1826 and after pur- 
chasing of James Kinzie a log-cabin which stood on the 
east side of Market Street a short distance south of 
Lake Street, built a frame addition to it in which he 
opened a tavern and hotel. The hotel bore the name 
of the Sauganash in honor of the mixed-blood Potawa- 
tomi chief, Billy Caldwell, to whom had been given the 
soubriquet of Sauganash or Englishman. Besides the 
Beaubiens, there were among the Catholic residents of 
Chicago in 1833, Antoine Ouilmette, a settler there 
since 1790 and one of the first white men to take up 
his residence in the place; Claude and Joseph Lafram- 
boise, traders of mixed French and Indian blood, orig- 
inally from Milwaukee; Pierre Le Clerc, (Pierish Le 
Claire) also Indian nnxed-blood, who fought in the 
Fort Dearborn affair and in his capacity of interpreter 
arranged the terms of surrender; and Daniel Bourassa, 
whose cabin stood on the west side of the river a short 
distance south of the forks.'" 

charity forbid." Beaul)ieu's claim rested on his jHirchase May 
28, 1835, at the land office in Chicago, of the southwest fractional 
quarter of section 10, etc., a tract twenty-five acres in extent, 
the price paid being $1.25 an acre. The tract, which was known 
as the Fort Dearborn Military Eeservatiou, comprised the land 
bounded by State and Madison Streets, the river and the lake. 
When the suit was decided definitely against Beaubien, he was 
required to deliver up the receipt issued to him by the Land 
Office, the purchase money being thereupon refunded to him. In- 
teresting data concerning the Beaubiens will be found in the 
article. The BeauMens of Chicago, by Frank O. Beaubien, son 
of Mark Beaubien, in the Illinois CatJioIic Historical Bevieiv, 2: 



Billy 'Die Chicago Catholics a1 Ihis ))ci'i()(l iiicliulcd also 

Alexander '''"' ^^^'*^ half-hvcod Potawatoiiii chiefs, Billy Caldwell 
Robinson aiid Alcxaiulci' l?o])inson. They wciv widely and favor- 
ably known as loyal fi'icnds of the whites. Thon<2:h not 
])resent a1 llie Fort Dearborn massacre, they are said, 
lhoii<i'h the ti-nth of the tradition has been (iiiestioned, 
to have ai'rived on the scene the da\' following; and 
succeeded by their intinence in savin<? the lives of the 
Kinzies and others who had escaped the fury of the 

30 pjpj.j.p Lp ClciT (Piorish La Clair or Lo Claire) aceom- 
pniiied liis Potawatonii kinsfolk to tlu> Council PjlufFs and Kaw 
Ri\-(M- r('S(MV( s. Acconliiio- to Rieliard Smith l^lliittt. Iiidiaii A<;'ent 
at Council Jiluilt's, a daugiiter of his was educated at the Hacred 
Heart Convent in St. Louis. Le Claire was one of the Potawa- 
tonii orators that went to 'Washinj;ton in 1S4,') to discuss the 
cession of the Iowa reserve to tiie (lovernnient. ''Peerish Le 
Claii-e, in Indian lingo, was to refer to some former treaties, 
the promises of which had not been kept by the government, 
and was to ex{)atiate on the charms of the country about 
Chicago wliere the frogs in Ihe niaishes sang more sweetly than 
liii'ds in other parts, — a land of beauty which tliey had ceded 
to the gdvernnient f(U- :i mere tritle. altiiough it had been their 
home so Icuig that tliey had traditions of Pieri'ot, the iirst white 
man who ever set foot upon it two lunulred years ago. ' ' Elliott, 
Notes Tal-en in Sixty Years, St. Louis, 1883, p. 208. Le Claire 
died at the Kaw River reserve March 28, 1849, attended in his 
last moments by a Jesuit priest from the Catholic Potawatonii 
Mission of St. Mary's, Kansas. Lc Claire's name, witii tiiose of 
Joseph Laframboise' and Half Day, was attached to a jietition 
addressed to tiie go\-eininent in 18-48 in favor of the estaliiislmient 
of Catholic schools among the Potawatonii of tlie Kansas n^serve. 
Files of the Indian Bureau, Washington. The name of the 
Potawatonii chief. Half Day, is b(uiie l)y a village of lliat name 
on the Chicago-Libertyville road. 


Indians on the fateful August 15, 1812. Later the two 
chiefs were instrumental in restraining the Potawatomi 
from participation in the Winnebago and Black Hawk 
wars. Caldwell, the son of an English army officer and 
a Potawatomi woman, was attached to the Indian hero 
Teeumseh in the capacitj^ of secretary, and fought with 
him at the battle of Thames, in which the latter per- 
ished. He moved with his Potawatomi kinsfolk to the 
Council Bluffs reservation, where he died September 28, 
1841. Alexander Robinson was the son of a Scotch 
trader and an Ottawa woman. He married in 1826 
Catherine Chevalier, daughter of the chief of a Potawa- 
tomi band, on whose death he succeeded to the chief fancy 
of the l)and. He received from the government a 
i"eservation of land on the Desplaines River, where he 
died in 1872.^^' 

'" Alexander Robinson 's cabin on the banks of the Desplaines 
was about six miles north of Riverside, Township of Leyden, 
Cook County, Illinois. In November, 1920, the forest preserve 
district of Cook County acquired title to eighty acres of the 
original Robinson reserve, the price paid being $12,600. The 
Circuit Court gave permission to Mrs. Mary Ragor, a daughter 
of the chief, eighty-five years old, to continue to leside on the 
lands, on which she was born. The chief's two daughters, Cynthia 
and Mary, were pupils at the Sisters of Mercy Academy, Wabash 
and Madison Street, in the early 'fifties. ' ' Among the pupils of 
St. Xavier's Academy and boarding School in the days that I 
am recalling, were the daughters of Chief Robinson of the Pota- 
watomi tribe of Indians. I must say that the two girls, — Cynthia 
and Mary Robinson were the best behaved girls in the school. 
They were in every waj' a credit to the school. The chief and his 
wife would often come in from the Reservation at Desplaines, 
in 1852, and stop at the convent all night." Mrs. B. K. Gar- 



The Taylors, Catholics Other than those of French or Indian stock 

o)?r" * "^^'*^"^'^ ^^^^' ^^^ Chicago in 1833. The most prominent of 
Auoiisiine this element were the two Taylors, Anson and Augustine 
Deodat, both converts from Episcopalianism. In 1832, 
Anson, with his brother Charles II., built at Randolph 
Street the first bridge over the Chicago River, the Pota- 
watomi Indians defraying one-half of the expense. 
Augustine Deodat Taylor, who arrived in Chicago in 
the summer of 1833, Avas an architect and l)uildcr. 
His was the distinction of erecting the first four 
Catholic churches in the town, St. ]\Iary's, St. Patrick's, 
St. Peter's and St. Joseph's. 

Chicago, as was noted above, came under the juris- 
diction of the Bishop of Bardstown on the erection of 
the latter see in 1808. But this new ecclesiastical dis- 
trict was too vast in extent to lie administered by a 
single hand and even in the lifetime of Bishop Flaget 
ten dioceses were formed out of its territory. By ar- 
rangement with that prelate and Bishop Rosati of 
St. Louis, the latter was given the power of Vicar- 
General of the Bishop of Bardstown for the "Western 
moiety of the State of Illinois. ''^^ This arrangement 

RAGiiAX, Beminisccnces of Early Clti-cago, in lUinois Catholic 
Jlistorical Hi view, 2: 2G6. See also in the same Review, 2: ?>5~- 
."'(31, a firapliic account of Robinson's friendly intorvention in 
favor of tlie whites during the Black Hawk War. 

" Thr Mdropolitan Catholic Calendar for 1834, p. 95, uses 
the terms, ' ' one-half the State of Illinois acjolning the Missis- 
sippi River." As early as 1818, Bishop Du Bourg had arranged 
with Bishop Flaget to take care of the Catholic settlements on 
the east bank of the Mississippi. Spalding, Life of Bishop 
Flaget, 177. According to Rev. Joliu Kotheiisteiner (Illinois 
Catholic Historical Bevieio, 2: 412), "the impression at this time 


appears to have been later modified so as to bring the 
northeastern portion of Illinois also under the provi- 
sional jurisdiction of the Bishop of St. Louis. Ecclesi- 
astically, Chicago thus became dependent on St. Louis. 
Respectable, prosperous, with a population of 10,000 
contrasting with Chicago's paltry 150 and with almost 
seventy years of recorded history to look back upon, 
the metropolis of ^lissouri might well command the 
attention and respect of the mushroom settlement of 
yesterday at the outlet of the Chicago River. As a 
circumstance pointing in some measure to the greater 
importance of the older settlement, it may be noted that 
some of the pioneer residents of Chicago had even at 
this early date found their way to St. Louis or its 
vicinity. We have seen above that members of the 
Le Mai and Pointe de Saible families of Chicago had 
their children baptized in St. Louis in 1799. Again, 
Captain John Whistler, who established Fort Dearborn 
in 1803, and more than-any one else, in the opinion of 
Quaife, deserves to be called the "Father of Chicago," 
was later stationed at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, 

[1833] was that Bishop Rosati desired to have the entire state 
of Illinois placed under his jurisdiction. Bishop Flaget states 
that 'Bishop Rosati exercises his jurisdiction upon a vast tract 
of the Illinois, Init he has never determined the line where he 
ceases exercising his administration. ' Baltimore seemed favorable 
to his claims. But Bishop England together with Bishop Rese of 
Detroit and Bishop Dubois of New York formed a party as 
against the followers of the Archbishop of Baltimore. The fact 
that only two-thirds and not the whole of the State of Illinois 
was placed under Bishop Rosati of St. Louis in 1834 is owing 
to the exertions of Bishop England. Of course all were working 
for the good of the Church as they saw it." 


where he died in 1829.-*- To cite still aiiotlici' instance, 
Captain Heald, commandant of Fort Dearborn at the 
time of the massacre and the central figure in the 
tragedy, was latei- a i-esident of St. Charles, Missouri, 
some twenty-five miles to the west of St. Lonis.'^ But Ave 
do not recall any instance of St. Louis peoj^le at this 
early period shifting tlicii' residence to Chicago. 

'- Cyclopcdid of National Biograpliu, (5: 4(;.'l. Tlic iiaine of 
Major William Whistler, son of Captain John Whistler, is sij;ned 
to tli(^ IS.i.j petition of the Chicaj^o Catholics. Three children of 

John Whistler and Esther Baillie, the former a son of Major 
William Whistler, were baptized by Father T. O'Meara, June 15, 
1838, in St. Mary's Church, Chicago. 

" QUAIFE, op. cit., 405. 

Father John Mary Iroiiaeus St. Cyr, 1803-1883, first Catholic 
resident priest of modern Chicago. From a photograph of date 
sometime in the 'seventies. 



Under tlie impression that they were within the Petition of 

bounds of his spiritual jurisdiction, the Catholics of 
Chicago addressed themselves to the Bishop of St. Louis iss 
when they resolved in 1833 to petition for a resident 
pastor. Their petition ran as follows : 

"We, the Catholics of Chicago, Cook Co., 111., lay before 
you the necessity there exists to have a pastor in this new and 
flourishing city. There are here several families of French 
descent, born and brought up in the Roman Catholic faith 
and others quite willing to aid us in supporting a pastor, who 
ought to be sent here before other sects obtain the upper 
hand, which very likely they will try to do. We have heard 
several jDersons say were there a priest here they would join 
our religion in preference to any other. We count almost 
one hundred Catholics in this town. We will not cease to pray 
until you have taken our imjDortant request into considera- 
tion.'' 1 

^ Andkeas, History of Chicago, 1 : 289. The following signed 
the petition, the tigure after each individual's name indicating 
the number of persons in his family: Thomas J. V. Owen, 10; 
J. B. Beanbien, 14 ; Joseph Laf ramboise, 7 ; Jean Pothier, 5 ; 
Alexander Robinson, 8 ; Pierre Leclerc, 3 ; Alexis Laf ramboise, 4 ; 
Claude Laf ramboise, 4; Jacques Chassut, 5; Antoine Ouilmet; 
Leon Bourassa, 3 ; Charles Taylor, 2 ; J. Bt. Miranda and sisters, 
3 ; Louis Chevalier and family, 3 ; Patrick Walsh, 2 ; John Mann, 
4; B. Caldwell, 1; Dill Saver, 1; Mark Beaubien, 12; Dill 
Vaughn, 1; James Vaughn, 1; J. Bt. Rabbie, 1; J. Bt. Poulx; 




The a])i)cal of the Catholics of Chicago to Bishop 
Rosati reached him at a providential juncture. A few 
days before it came into his liands, he had raised to the 
])riesthood a young Frencliman, John Mary Trenaeus St. 
( 'yi-, whose services were now available for whatever 
cornel' of tlie Lord's vineyard the prelate miglit see fit to 
assign him. Accordingly, under date of Ai)ril 17, 1833, 
Bishop Rosati signed a document charging Father St. 
Cyr with the spiritual care of the Catholics of Chicago.- 

J. B. Tabeaux, 1 ; J. Bt. Durocher, 1 ; J. Bt. Brorleur, 1 ; Mathias 
Smith, 1; Antoine St. Ours, 1; Bazillo Dcsplat, 1; Cliarles 
Monselle, 1 ; John Hondorf , 1 ; Dexter Apgood. 1 : Nelson Peter 
Perry, 1; John S. C. Hogan, 1; Anson H. Tayk)r, 1; Louis 
Francheres, 1 ; a total of 122. If to the list we add, the entry 
on the reverse side of the petition, "Major Whistler's family 
al)out () " the total becomes 128. The original copy of the peti- 
tion is endorsed with these dates — "Received April 16, 1833. 
Answered April 17, 1833." The above list has been compared 
with the original document (in French) in the St. Louis Arch- 
diocesan Archives and inaccuracies occurring in Andreas 's version 
of the same have been corrected. 

- The original of this document was lecently presented by 
Arclibishop Glennon of St. Louis to Arclibishop Mundelein of 
Chicago. The translation cited is in Andreas, op. cit., 1 : 290. 
Bearing the same date as Bishop Rosati 's commission to Father 
St. Cyr is a letter addressed by that prelate to Bishop Flaget. 
"Having received a petition of the Catholics of Chicago, who 
regarded me as tlieir diocesan bishop and demanded of me 
a priest, showing the danger of losing a concession of two 
thousand acres of land which the chiefs of the Pottawatomies 
with the consent of the government have made to the Catholic 
Church, l)y virtue of the jjowers of Vicar General, which yoi; 
have given me, 1 will send Mr. St. Cyr, but on condition that 
when the limits of the diocese are fixed I can recall him." 
Illinois Catholic Historical Eevietc, 2: 412. The original of this 
letter, in French, is in Bishop Rosati 's Letter-Book, IX. 

/ >; 


^^'^..^ I7;ji j ^ 


! / 
j / 


Names affixed to petition of the Catholics of Chicago to 
Bishop Rosati of Saint Louis for a resident priest. On the 
reverse side is the entry, "Major Whistler's family, about 
6." The document is endorsed in Bishop Rosati 's hand- 
writing ''Received April 16, 1833. Answered April 17, 
1833." Saint Louis Archdiocesan Archives. 

V'N "'^'JT 


"Josepli Rosati, of the Congregation of Missions, by the 
grace of God and of the Apostolic See, Bishop of St. Louis, 
to the Rev. Mr. John Irenaeus St. Cyr, priest of our diocese, 
health in the Lord: 

Rev. Sir: — Whereas not a few Catholic men inhabiting 
the town commonly called Chicago, and its vicinage, in the 
State of Illinois, have laid before me that they, deprived of 
all spiritual consolation, vehemently desire that I shall send 
them a priest, who, by the exercise of his pastoral gifts, 
should supply to them the means of performing the offices 
of the Christian religion and providing for their eternal 
salvation : wishing, as far as in me lies, to satisfy such a de- 
sire, at once pious and joraiseworthy, by virtue of the powers 
of Vicar-General to me granted by the most illustrious and 
most reverend Bishop of Bardstown (Ky.), I depute you to 
the Mission of Chicago and the adjoining regions within the 
State of Illinois, all of which have hitherto been under the 
spiritual administration of the said most illustrious and most 
reverend Bishop of Bardstown, [and I] grant you, until re- 
voked, all the powers as described in the next page, with the 
condition, however, that as soon soever as it shall become 
known to you that a new Episcopal See shall have been 
erected and established by the Holy AiDostolie See from the 
territory of other sees now existing, to that Bishoj) within 
the limits of whose diocese the aforesaid Chicago mission is 
included, you shall render an account of all those things 
which shall have been transacted by you, and surrender the 
place to such priest as shall be bj' him deputed to the same 
mission, and you, with God's favor, shall return to our dio- 
cese from which we declare you to be by no means separated 
by this present mission. 

Given at St. Louis from the Episcopal building, the 17th 
day of April, 1833. 

Bishop of St. Louis. 

Jos. A. LuTZ, Secretary." 

Father John Mary Irenaeus St. Cyr was a native f'";^'^''^/ 

"^ "^ I. St. Cyr 

of France, having been born November 2, 1803, at 


Quincic, ("antoii of licaujcii, in the archdiocese of 
Lyons. •• He spent four years at an elementary school 
in his native place, and seven years at the college of 
Largentier. Having there completed his classical studies, 
he entered the Grand Seminary of Lyons, where he 
studied ])hilosophy and tlieology. In Ihe beginning of 
June, ISoL he h'ft the land of his birlh for America 
and arrived in St. Louis in August of that year, being 
one of the first clerical recruits secured at this period 
for the diocese of St. Louis through the agency of the 
French Association foi- the Proi)agation of the Faith. 
Having spent eighteen months in the seminary of "the 
Barrens," Perry County. ^lo., he was ordained deacon 
in 1832 and on April 6, 1833, was raised to the priest- 
hood hy Bishop Rosati. Twelve days later he set out 
from St. Louis for his new field of labor in northern 
Illinois in company with Mr. Anson Tayhii-. who liad 
been dispatched from Chicago to serve as escort.-* A 
journey of twelve days brought the pair to Chicago, 

'A letter of Father St. Cyr's to the Hon. John Wcntworth 
of Cliicago, written in the ciuly eighties, supplies most of the 
data embodied in the sketch of the priest in Andreas, op. cit., 1. 
Historical Scnrp-Book, Library of St. Ignatius College, Chicago. 
A number of documents bearing on the life of Father St. Cyr, 
including certificates of baptism and holy orders are reproduced 
in the Illinois Catholic Historical Ecvicw, 1: 323-327. Father 
St. Cyr's departure for Chicago was reported in the Shepherd of 
the Valley, (St. Louis, Mo.), April 20, 183;!. 

^Bishop Rosati 's Private Diary (Ephemerides Privatae) in 
the Saint Louis Archdiocesan Archives contains this entry under 
date of April 18, 1833: "Pransi apud PP. Societatis in Collegio. 
D. St. Cyr profectus est Chicag." "I took dinner with the 
Fathers of the Society [Jesuits] at the College [St. Louis Uni- 
versity], ilr. St. Cyr set out for Chicago." 

Rt. Rev. Joseph Rosati, member of the Congregation of the 
Missions and Bishop of Saint Louis, who in the same year, 1833, 
gave Chicago and Kansas City their first resident priests in the 
persons respectively of Father John Mary Irenaeus St. Cyr and 
Father Benedict Roux. The years of Bishop Rosati 's episcopate 
(1826-1843) witnessed a vast deal of missionary effort put forth 
from St. Louis for the upliuilding of Catholicism in the Missis- 
sippi Valley and Ijeyond. He was born in Italy in 1789 and 
died in the same country, at Rome, September 25, 1843. 


despite till' tine pi'oiiiises iiiaWe to jn-oxide the priest with 
everything neeessary fur liis supjjort, despite all the honor 
and coui'tesy and marks of respect with which the residents 
of tile place received nie and which they continue to show 
nie daily to the clia<>rin of the Protestant ministers, I should 
have reason to comi)lain, Monseiiiiicui-. wcic you not to send 
nie some assistance at the start to relieve my needs; for I 
should not have money enough even to pay postage on a 
letter were I to receive one, nor do T know how T am iioins: 
to i)ay the transportation chariji's (ni my liiiiik. when it 
comes, unless I have some help from you hcluicluuKl. 1 cannot 
say Mass every day, as I should like lo, I'or I cannot always 
obtain the wine and candles. I am eager to go to St. Joseph's, 
as soon as [Rev.] Mr. Badin shall have returned from Ken- 
tucky, but . Jt is true, as you will Icll me, that the 

Catholics have promised to furnish everything necessary for 
the support of tlie priest. Yes, Monseigneur, but they are 
going to stai-t to build a little chapel and a presbytery with 
money contributed by them for the jjurpose. Therefore, if 
the money contributed falls short of the cost of tlic hnildings, 
I shall be constantly in want. 

As to what the Indian cliiel's are reported to have 
promised for a Catholic church, nothing certain is known 
up to this; we must wait and see what the outcome will be 
of the treaty that is to take place next fall. 

The eagei'ness shown by the people ol' Chicago, the 
Protestants even, to have a Catholic church, allows us to 
l)lace great hopes in the future. Every Sunday so far, I 
have given an instruction alternately in English and French. 
I aim particularly to remove ]irejudices by showing as clearly 
as possible in what the teaching of the Church consists. In 
my tirst instruction I explained the meaning of the invoca- 
tion of the saints, the difference there is between praying to 
God and i)raying to the saints, the meaning of the venera- 
tion paid to images and relics and the doctrine of the Catholic 
church regarding purgatoi'v. The second Sunday I preached 
in p]nglish on the unity of the C'liurch of Jesus Christ. I 
showed its necessity, bringing out also how this unity is 
found in the Catholic Church. On Ascension day I preached 

o S ri «n 

^ ^^ o ^ 

al "I 

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■^ ii: . 1-1 

a ^ r . 

^' = Si S 
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CC OJ o ^ 


in French on the real presence and afterwards explained in 
English the ceremony of the Mass. Pentecost day I set forth 
the rapid progress of the gospel throughout the world and 
the great results it accomplished in reforming morals (this in 
English). On Trinity day I explained in French the symbol 
of St. Ambrose on the Holy Trinity and then the Apostles' 
Creed, as also what we must absolutely know and believe in 
to be saved. I tell you all this, Monseigneur, not to show 
you what I have done, but that you may see whether what I 
have done is right or wrong arid that I may learn how to 
proceed in the future. A number of persons have approached 
the tribunal of penance. I presume, Monseigneur, that you 
put some books in my trunk, as you gave me to understand 
at my departure. Up to the present I have been left to my 
own resources. I should like exceedingly to have some in- 
structions in English or French, some French catechisms and 
two or three mission hymns. 

To give you some idea of Chicago, I will tell you that 
since my arrival more than twenty houses have been built, 
while materials for new ones may be seen coming in on all 
sides. The situation of Chicago is the finest I have ever 
seen. Work is now proceeding on a harbor that will enable 
lake-vessels to enter the town. Three arrived lately crowded 
with passengers who came to visit these parts and in most 
cases to settle down here. Everything proclaims that Chicago 
will one day become a great town and one of commercial 

I have performed several Baptisms; and in this connec- 
tion, Monseigneur, permit me to ask you something: Is 
Baptism conferred by Baptist ministers valid? It is laid 
down in theology, as far as I can remember, that the ministers 
in conferring the sacraments must have the intention which 
the Church has; but Methodist ministers confer Baptism, not 
as something necessary for salvation, but as a ceremony of 
the Church, and consequently they have not the intention 
which the Church has, for she intends that Baptism be con- 
ferred as something absolutely necessary for salvation.." ^ 

«The origiuals of Father St. Cyr's letters, written in French, 


Pioneer Tlioiigh Father St. Cyr inaufjiirated the Catholic 

Protestant ■ ■ . --,, . . 

Churches ministry m Chicago in good season, the Protestant de- 
nominations had been in the field at a still earlier date. 
The Rev. William See and after him the Rev. 
Walker, both ordained ministers of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church, conducted .services in Chicago before 1832. 
The latter had for his meeting place a log-building popu- 
larly known as "Father Walker's Log-Cabin" and situ- 
ated at Wolf Point on the west side of the river at about 
the intersection of the present Kinzie and Canal streets. 
^Ir. See, besides preaching the Gospel. i)lied the trade 
of a blacksmith. Mrs. Kinzie 's Wau-hun, a well-known 
book portraying scenes from the pioneer history of 
Chicago, records the impression produced on her by 
one of Mr. See's sermons. The first Protestant church 
organization, that of the Presbyterians, was formed 
in June. 1833. by the Reverend Jeremiah Porter, an 
army chaplain, who arrived at Fort Dearborn on ]\Iay 
13 of the .same year, twelve days after the arrival of 
Father St. Cyr. The Baptists organized a church in 
October of the same year. Thus the year 1833 saw 
church organizations regularly established in Chicago 
for the first time, three churches, Catholic, Presbj-ferian 
and Baptist being founded during that year; the 
in May, the second in June and the third in October. 

are preserved in the St. Louis Arcluliocesan Archives. Those 
dated from Chicago are about fifteen in number, are addressed 
in each instance to Bishop Rosati of St. Louis and record the 
writer's impressions and experiences as he was engaged in the 
work of building the first church and organizing the first Catholic 
parish in Chicago. For the story of pioneer Catholicity in that 
great city they constitute the most interesting and valuable doc- 
umentarv material extant. 

June, 1833 


The Temple building, near the corner of Franklin and 
South Water streets, was erected by a Dr. Temple, as 
a meeting-place for the various Protestant denomina- 
tions before they had churches of their own. It was 
opened for service in August, 1833, and, with the ex- 
ception of "Father AValker's" log-cabin, was the first 
building erected in Chicago for religious worship." 

Towards the end of June, 1833, Father St. Cyr 
again addressed the Bishop of St. Louis: 

"I received my trunk at last on the eighteenth of this fit. Cyr to 
month. That it was so long on the way was not any fault of ^°^"'_''^l, 
Mr. St. Cyr, who was pleased to charge himself with the task 
of having it forwarded to me, but was owing to the fact that 
when he arrived at Hotway [Ottawa], he found the water too 
low to enable him to proceed by river as far as Chicago, and 
was obliged to take another route, by land, to his destination 
at Mackina [w]. My trunk accordingly remained at Hotway 
[Ottawa] until the eighteenth of this month. 

I am very much surprised that the Missal was not found. 
for the third book I came to when I opened my trunk was 
the Missal [1]. And wdiat I told you in my first letter, Mon- 
seigneur, happened to me just so, namely, that I shouldn't 
have money enough to pay for the transportation of my effects. 
This cost me two dollars and a half and these I bad to borrow 
from Mr. Beaubien, who shows me every kindness imaginable. 

I have received a letter from [Eev.] Mr. Deseille, who is 
at St. Joseph in [Rev.] Mr. Badin's place; he urges me to go 
to St. Joseph, but this is impossible as I have not a penny 
with wliich to defray the expenses of the Journey.* I beg you. 

' Andreas, op. cit., 289, 315. 

" Father Deseille was missionary to the Potawatomi Indians 
of Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan from 1833 to his 
death in 1837. As no priest could reach him in his dying mo- 
ments, he dragged himself to the altar of his humble chapel, 
opened the tabernacle door and communicated the sacred species 


Monst'igiieur. to send nu' ;i little money to relieve my present 
needs. Perhaps the future shall lind me better otf in this 

I am well aware that the people should provide for all 
my needs; they have promised to do so. If I can have from 
them the wherewithal to build a little chapel, I shall consider 
myself very fortunate and I hope that with the grace of God 
and the assistance of charitable souls, our Divine Savior will 
have a temple in Chicago where he will dwell continually in 
the midst of us by his real presence in the Blessed Sacrament 
of the Altar. 

Our subscrij^tion for the church amounts now to 332 
dollars; but according to the building plans agreed on, we 
shall need five hundred dollars. It will be 36 feet long, 24 
wide and 12 high. 

As to the land w^hich the Indian chiefs are reported to 
have promised, we cannot count on it, seeing that [Rev.] Mr. 
Badin, to whom the Indians made the promise, did not fulfill 
the conditions of the contract in virtue of which the Indians 
offered to give a certain amount of land toward the l)uildiiig 
of a Catholic church, for their own use, however. 

Another thing which causes me much pain. I cannot say 
Mass during the week, or rarely so, for lack of the necessary 

But, Monseigneur, I must tell you in all sincerity that 
this mission holds out the fairest hopes for the future and 
that to abandon it for lack of some little assistance, of some 
small sacrifices, would l)e a great loss for religion, a loss all 
the greater and more certain now that a Presbyterian minister 
arrived in Chicago from some other place a few days ago.^ 

to himself as viaticum. Sec The story of fiflii years, p. 19. 
(Notre Dame Press). 

'■' Tills was apparently the Rev. Jeremiah Porter, founder of 
tlic first Presbyterian Church of Chicago, who arrived in the 
city on -May 1."!. His Journal, which appeared in the Chicago 
Times in 1S77, has this reference to Father St. Cyr: "The first 
priest residing here was Father St. Cyr witli wliom I had some 
friendly interviews in mv studv which I had built near my 

S. 2 3 

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Many I'rott'slants, even nl' tlic most ri'spcctalilc ramilics ol' 
Chicati'o, would ret mil to llicir lirst, religion, or latlicr woiilil 
rciiiaiti in tlicir cn'ors, as hciuL;' willioiil any means of em- 
bracing' tlie ("atliolie religion. 

J have peri'ornied ei^lil haiilisnis in ('liicaL;o ;iii(l must 
p) jo tlie l'\).\ riNcr lo pci't'orm some more. 

\ on cannol lielicNc, IMonseiuiieiir, how much i;do(l coiiltl 
bo doiu' I'or religion in Ihese \ast prairies were a |>riest li> 
visit from time to time the laniilies who are scattered here and 
thore. al)andoned ti) themseUcs in evcrythinu' thai concerns 
religion and their eternal salvation. 

Even tlie Indians, tlie poor Indians, are not indil'l'ereiit 
towni'ds our holy religion; they earnestly wish to lia\c a iilack- 
robe. 1 lia\e iiiaile tlie ac(|uaintance of tiiree ni' the principal 
chiefs, all three Catholics. Two of them in particular, who 
remained some <lays in Cliieaii'o, edilied me hy their ureal 
faith.'ore sitliiiLi' <lciwn at lalile, whether others were 
l)resenl or not, they pi'ayed loi' a space (d' almost ii\e min- 
utes, and three limes every day they eanie to my room to say 
tlieii' pr.ayers which consisted of a Pater and an Anc. to thank 
(iod I'or liavini;' i;i\-eii them lite and the means to sup|iort life 
and to pray for their heiu'l adois. 1 showed them a lar^c 
crucifi.v and explaine(l to Ihem with the aid (d an inter|H'eler 
Avhat our Lord had done and suffered to save us from lie!! and 
give us heaven. Tlii'y lemained motionless for a while, with 
their eyes lixed on tlie cnicitix, and looking- at it with an air 
of ]>iety and compassion, which showed they had a livi'ly 
realization i<[' what they saw. Then they broke I he silence 
by prayers which they recited ;it the foot (d' Hie crncilix. 

boai'dilii; lidiise on tlie |u| mi Ihe cui iier ef i.iikc iiihl l-a Salle 
Street, en which llie Marine I'.aiik now stands; a canal let, net 
on uuii'ket llien luil \aliicil al almut .$200, and iiuw weilh in tlie 
iiei^ldiorlKKiil of .-fii'iii 1,1100. St. Cyr presented me with a little 
lioek entitleil, 'A fapisl K'epicsent ed and .\1 isicpresen I ei I , ' which 
1 shall ii'laiii as a inenii'iitd el' the infant davs el' our churches. 
WiuMl 1 went til s\ni|iathi/e with Mrs. ilainiltdn in the death 
of liei- liidthei- I'.iifkiicr. I I'cuind the priest had prcceiled nu' 
in at tempt in- te c(jmt'ml the wuman." 


Many Protestants, even of the most respectable families of 
Chicago, would return to their first religion, or rather would 
remain in their errors, as being without any means of em- 
bracing the Catholic religion. 

I have performed eight baptisms in Chicago and must 
go 'to the Fox river to perform some more. 

You cannot believe, Monseigneur, how much good could 
be done for religion in these vast prairies were a priest to 
visit from time to time the families who are scattered here and 
there, abandoned to themselves in everything that concerns 
religion and their eternal salvation. 

Even the Indians, the poor Indians, are not indifferent 
towards our holy religion ; they earnestly wish to have a black- 
robe. I have made the acquaintance of three of the principal 
chiefs, all three Catholics. Two of them in particular, who 
remained some days in Chicago, edified me by their great 
faith. Before sitting down at table, whether others were 
present or not, they jjrayed for a space of almost five min- 
utes, and three times every day they came to my room to say 
their prayers which consisted of a Pater and an Ave, to thank 
God for having given them life and the means to support life 
and to pray for their benefactors. I showed them a large 
crucifix and explained to them with the aid of an interpreter 
what our Lord had done and suftered to save us from hell and 
give us heaven. They remained motionless for a while, with 
their eyes fixed on the crucifix, and looking at it with an air 
of piety and compassion, which showed they had a livelj" 
realization of what they saw. Then they broke the silence 
by prayers which they recited at the foot of the crucifix, 

boarding house on the lot on the eoruer of Lake and La Salle 
Street, on which the Marine Bank now stands; a canal lot, not 
on market then but valued at about $200, and now worth in the 
neighborhood of $200,000. St. Cyr presented me with a little 
book entitled, 'A Papist Represented and Misrepresented,' which 
I shall retain as a memento of the infant days of our churches. 
When I went to sympathize with Mrs. Hamilton in the death 
of her brother Buckner, I found the priest had preceded me 
in attempting to comfort the woman. ' ' 


shedding at the same time, torreuts of tears. Xon vidi tontam 
fidein in Israel. [I have not seen such great faitli in Israel.] 
I could not refrain from weeping with them. They told us 
that they prayed to God three times every day, whether jour- 
neying or at liome, and that they spent every Sunday singing 
praises of Him who died for the whites and poor Indians 
alike. What a beautiful harvest, Monseigiieur !"' 

On September 26, 1833. tlie Potawatomi, or, as they 
were officially designated, the "United Nation of the 
Chippewa, Ottawa and Potawatomie Indians," con- 
cluded at Chicago a treaty according to the terms of 
which they sold to the government the remnant of their 
holdings in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, receiving in 
consideration of the same one dollar per acre, and, in 
addition, a grant of 5,000,000 acres of land on the left 
bank of the ^Missouri Eiver. To this new home, repre- 
sented roughly on the map of today l)y the southwestern 
counties of the state of Iowa bordering on the Mis- 
souri, the Indians agreed to move immediately on the 
ratification of the treaty." Father St. Cyr had the 

'" The text of the Cliif-ago treaty of 1833 is in Kappler, 
Indian Affairs and Tr(ati(s, 2: 402. A discussion of its terms 
and tlio circunistiuH-es which attended its signing may be read 
in QiAiFE, oi>. cil., ;'>4S-o68, who arraigns severely tlie whole 
transaction. To-pe-nc-])C and Pokegan, the two principal chiefs 
of the St. Joseph Potawatomi and Wah-pon-seh (Waubansee, 
another chief of the Potawatomi of the Woods) went to Wash- 
ington in the fall of 1834 to protest against the ratification of 
the 1r(>ii1y. Owens to Cass, November 17, 1834. The Files of 
the Indian Bureau, Washington, contain a protest from Pokegan, 
signed at Pokegan Village, (Michigan) January 25, 1835, against 
the ratification of the "deceitful treaty." On the other hand, 
the Potawatomi living west of Lake Michigan appear to have 
acquiesced fully in the terms of the treaty. ' ' The Prairie and 
Lake Indians recognize Caldwell, Robinson and (Joseph) La- 


satisfaction of celebrating Mass for the Catholic Indians 
assembled at Chicago on the occasion of this treaty of 

''The last post," Father St. Cyr writes to Bishop Kosati, St. Cyr to 
September 16, 1833, "brought me your letter in which were kosati, 
enclosed two others, one addressed to Mr. J. B. Beaubien and '^^,„„ 
the other to Mr. Robert Stuart. I have delivered each one to 
its address.^^ Both gentlemen offered very willingly to pay 
me the fifty dollars; but I shall receive the money only at the 
conclusion of the treaty which began last Saturday and will 

fromboise as their principal men, in whom they have unlimited 
confidenco and in wliose decision in all matters relating to their 
people they fully acquiesce ; and to use their own language, 
they wish their great Father, the President, and Secretary of 
War to permit no interference with the treaty of Chicago so 
far as it relates to the country ceded west of Lake Michigan." 
Thomas J. V. Owen, Indian Agent at Chicago, to Lewis Cass, 
Secretary of War, November 17, 1834. Files of the Indian 
Bureau, Washington. In this same documentary depositary is 
the hitherto unpublished official ' ' Journal of the proceedings of 
a Treaty between the United States and the United Tribe of 
Potawatomies, CMppeways and Ottawas, ' ' a source to be drawn 
upon when the history of the Chicago treaty of 1833 is adequately 
written up. One passage from the Journal is pertinent here. 
" Way-mich-soy-go. When you called us into council at Prairie 
du Chien [1829] we were troubled and knew not what to do. 
We then appointed these men (pointing out Caldwell and Robin- 
son) our chief counsellors. We are one flesh, they have been 
raised amongst us. So long as they live, they were chosen to 
manage our business. Whatever they say and do we agree to. 
They will take time and council together and determine what shall 
be done." 

" Robert Stuart was agent for the American Fur Company 
of Chicago and one of the controlling figures in the affairs of 
that powerful concern. 


finish the middle of next niontli. At this treaty a decision will 
be reached as to whether we are to get the lands which the 
Indian chiefs promised to give towards the support of a 
Catholic establishment in their midst. More than 1,000 Indians 
are gathered here for the payment. Yesterday I said Holy 
Mass four miles from Chicago before a congregation of con- 
verted Indians recommended to me by their pastor [Rev.] Mr. 
Deseille, who could not accompany them to the treaty, as he 
is the only priest at St. Joseph. 

Besides the Catholic Indians of St. Joseph, a great many 
other Indians from Mackina[w] and Green Bay assisted at 
Mass. They had arranged a pretty altar under a tent. Their 
modesty, their good behavior during the most Holy Sacrifice 
and their respect for priests touched and edified me exceed- 
ingly. The Catholics of Chicago, together with those from 
St. Joseph who came to attend the treaty, gathered there in 
great numbers to hear Mass. The Catholics sang French hymns 
at the beginning of the Mass. Then the Indians sang the 
Credo in their own language, but to the same air to which 
rve sang it, and they sang, besides, a number of beautiful 

Three carpenters are working at present on my little 
chapel. I hope it will be finished by Sunday or at least during 
the course of the following week. 

1 saw Mr. Menard on Saturday.^- He gave me a letter 
for you. So far, I have not received the books you were so 
good to send me. I hope to receive them today, as soon as 
Mr. Menard's effects shall have arrived here. 

Monseigneur Reze spent a little while here on his retui-n 
from Green Bav. He gave me ten dollars for mv church and 

^- Pierre Menard, Sr., of Kaskaskia, 111., was the first Lieu- 
tenant Governor of the State of Illinois and a foremost figure 
in the eai'ly political life of the commonwealth. He held the 
title at one time to valuable North Side property in Ciiicago 
sul)sequently acquired by the Kinzics. For a sketch of Pierre 
Menard, Sr., see Moses, Illinois Historical and Statistical, 1: 289; 
also, Mason, Early Chicago and Illinois. 

an m i^ -^ .^ .^ .^ '- ^*' '^ mMMM-^T'!^'^ <f J 10 J? /? iCt 

Mark Boaubieii, l:)iotlier of Jean Baptiste Boauljieii. He came to 
Chicago in 1826 from Monroe, Michigan, and was for a time proprietor of 
the Sauganash Hotel at Market and Lake Streets, where he gave liospitality 
to Father St. Cyr on the latter 's arrival in Chicago in 1833. From a minia- 
ture loaned to the Chicago Historical Society by Mrs. Emily Lebeau, 
daughter of Mark Beaul)ien. 



PiEW ro: ■: f 



ten dollars for mj'self. His visit was extremely short as the 
steamboat left the same day it arrived.''^ 

I received fifteen days ago a letter from Monseigneur 
Flaget in which he announces the death of two of his priests 
and of four religieuses. 

There is no particular sickness except bilious fever, which, 
however, has not been dangerous. I had an attack of it myself 
for fifteen days. 

I buried last week a little child, Avhich I had baptized 
only a short time before. 

There is no news which might interest you, Monseigneur, 
apart from the extraordinary growth of Chicago, which only 
a little ago was nothing but a small village. Now there is a 
street a mile long [Lake Street] and soon there will be two 
others of the same length. But, unfortunately, piety will not 
flourish any more on that account. 

The mention made by Father St. Cyr in the preced- 
ing letter of the Potawatomi treaty of 1833 and of the 
Catholic services conducted on that occasion before the 
assembled Indians recalls the fact that the Potawatomi 
had a direct share in the first formal organization of 
the Catholic Church in Chicago. A communication from 
Mr. Thomas J. V. Owen, U. S. Indian Agent at Chicago, 
to Mr. Anson H. Taylor under date of April 4, 1833, 
declared that "at the petition of the principal chiefs of 
the Potawatomi tribe of Indians to the President of 
the United States, permission was given them to donate 
to the Koman Catholic Church four sections of land on 
the Desplains or Chicago River near the town of Chi- 
cago, for the purpose of establishing a seminary of 

" Monsignor Frederick Rose [Rcze] was at this time Bishop- 
elect of the newly founded diocese of Detroit. He was con- 
secrated in Cincinnati, October 6, 1833, three weeks after his 
visit to Chicago. He resigned his episcopal charge in 1837 and 
returned to Europe. 


learning."" The intention of the Indians to subsidize a 
Catholic school or college by a grant of land from their 
extensive holdings was, for some unknown cause, never 
embodied in the treatj^ of 1833, and on that account 
no advantage ever accrued from it to Father St. Cyr 
or his successors. Further testimony to the good will 
of the Potawatomi to the Catholic Church was the cir- 
cumstance already noted that the petition of April, 
1833, on the part of the Catholic residents of Chicago 
for a resident priest, addressed to Bishop Rosati, was 
signed by the two Potawatomi chiefs, Billy Caldwell 
and Alexander Robinson and by numerous persons of 
mixed French and Indian blood, like the Laframboises 
and Chevaliers. iMoreover, it was with the help of 
Indian women that Father St. Cyr's church was swept 
and put in order in preparation for the first services 
and the humble place of worship often echoed to the 
hymns which the Indians were taught to sing.^'^ 

" St. Louis Arelidiocesan Archives. The Shepherd of the 
Valley, (St. Louis, Mo.), January, 1834, has the following: 
"A letter recently received from Chicago, 111., states that 
the Indians near that place have received a large tract of 
land for the i)uipose of establishing a Catholic mission among 
them, and are only waiting the arrival of a priest to commence 
erecting a mission house and chun-li." Governor Porter of 
Michigan, one of the three commissioners who negotiated the 
treaty of 1833, assured Father Badin that the petition for four 
sections of land would meet with success. Badin to Bishop Reze, 
October 31, 1833, Files of the Indian Bureau, Washington. 
Bishop Reze in October, 1834, was still seeking information re- 
garding the fate of the four sections. 

'■• Be collections of Augustine D. TaijJor. Historical Scrap- 
Book in Library of St. Ignatius College, Ciiicago. The name and 
date of the newspaper cannot be identified. 

Alison H. Taylor, Ijuilder with his brother Charles H. Taylor 
of Chicago's tirst bridge (1832), which was of trestlework and 
spanned the river between Lake and Randolph Streets. He had 
come to Chicago in 1829. A convert from Episcopalianism, he 
journeyed to Saint Louis in the Spring of 1832 to escort Father 
St. Cyr to Chicago and the following Summer hauled with his 
own team the lumber which his brother, Augustine Deodat Taylor, 
used in the construction of the first Saint Mary 's Church. He died 
in his seventy-third year at Lakeside, Cook County, Illinois, 
May 9, 1878. From a x^hotograph in the possession of his daugh- 
ter, Miss Monica Taylor, of Hubbard Woods, Illinois. 


Father St. Cyr said the first Mass in tlie new churcli 
in October, 1833, for the Catholic Indians, 300 in num- 
ber, who had come to Chicago from South Bend for 
their annunities. Work on tlie structure liad been fin- 
ished by its builder, Augustine Deodat Taylor, only 
the day before and the Indians began at once to sweep 
and clean the little place of worship in preparation for 
the opening services. The church, however, was still 
unplastered, and as there was no prospect of collecting 
additional money from the people of Chicago, who had 
contributed to the limit of their means in defraying the 
initial expense, Father St. Cyr determined to solicit aid 
from the Catholics of St. Louis. He wrote, November 
23, to Bishop Eosati : 

"For over a montli my little chapel has been finished in ^t. Cyr to 
a manner decent enough to enable ns to say Mass without in- 
convenience every Sunday and week day up to the present. 
But the cold wliich is now beginning to make itself felt more 
keenly over these vast prairies makes the chapel almost unin- 
habitable, for it is still unplastered. The impossibility of say- 
ing Mass in it during the winter as also the impossibility of 
having it plastered owing to the slender means at present at 
our disposal, make it necessary for me to go down to St. 
Louis to do a little begging. Thus, together with what the 
people here have promised still to give, (though I scarce put 
any trust in their pledges), I shall have quite a pleasant 
chapel, small though it be. Another motive which induces 
me to make a trip to St. Louis is that Thursday next we are 
going to open a school in which three languages, French, 
English and Latin, are going to be taught. Mr. Kimber [ ?] 
Avho is 40 years old, will be in charge; he is a good singer and 
speaks English, French and Latin very well, but as we cannot 
find here the books needed by the children, I will take ad- 
vantage of the journey to secure them.^" 

" No mention of a Catholic school in Chicago apart from 


Up to the present, Ave have had Mass and Vespers sung 
every Sunday with all the solemnity possibile under the cir- 
cumstances. People enter into these services with great ear- 
nestness. I have hopes that with the grace of God and the 
charity of the faithful and in spite of all difficulties and 
miseries, it will be possible to organize a congregation of good 
Catholics here in Chicago. 

Next Wednesday, if nothing stands in tlie way, I am 
going to leave for St. Louis with the firm resolution of return- 
ing as soon as possible, so as not to lose time (if such !)(_■ your 
wish in the matter, IMonseigneur)." 

Father St. Cyr undertook his contemplated journey 
to St. Louis. Avhence he returned to Chicago in the late 
spring of 1834." Here, however, now that Ave see his 

the above occurs in any of Father St. Cyr's letters. It seems 
likely that some reforoiipc to so important an adjunct to the 
church would liavi' Ix'di iiiailc liv tlio Father in his subsequent 
correspondence with las Bishop liad the sehool actually been set 
on foot. 

The first scliool in Chicago was opened in 1816 by William 
Cox, a discharged soldier of Fort Dearborn. The first school con- 
ducted along regular lines was taught by Stephen Forbes in June, 
1830, in a building owned by one of the Beauliiens, which stood 
at what is now the crossing of Ramlolpli Street and ^Michigan 

The first Sunday school in Chicago, organized August 10, 
18.T2. liv meniliers of the ]\I(>tho(list Episcojial denomination, held 
its initial sessions in a small frami> l)uil(ling erected sliortly 
l)efore by Mark Beauliien. Axihieas, op. cii., 1: 289. 

'' P>isliop Eosal i 's Private Diary (EpJu ni( rUh s Pricatdr) con- 
tains the item, "18:'.;], ?,1 Dec. statui D. St. Cyr Sti. Ludovici 
retinere toto liienie, ' I Iiave decided to keep Mr. St. Cyr in 
St. Louis all winter.' " Father St. Cyr, according to tlie same 
Diary, was present at the consecration of tlie cliurch of St. James 
in Potosi, Mo., April 27, 18.34. 



little chapel, as he describes it, thrown open for divine 
service, we may retrace our steps a little and gather np 
some additional details concerning the erection of Chi- 
cago's first Catholic house of worship. 

On his first arrival in Chicago Father St. Cyr had st. Mary's 
become the guest of Mr. Mark Beaubien, proprietor of 
the Sauganash, the best known of the pioneer hotels of 
the city. For a year or more he enjoyed gratis the 
hospitality of Mr. Beaubien, who from the very first 
interested himself in the most direct way in the priest's 
plans for a Catholic church in Chicago, discharging in 
this connection the duties of chairman of the building 
fund. Moreover, it was in a log building about twelve 
feet square, situated on the west side of Market Street, 
across from the Sauganash and occupied by one of Mr. 
Beaubien 's laborers, that Father St. Cyr conducted 
services pending the erection of the church.^^ As a site 
for the latter, Mr. Jean Baptiste Beaubien, Mark's elder 
brother, offered for the nominal sum of two hundred 
dollars a lot at the southeast corner of Lake and Dear- 
born Streets occupied subsequently by the Tremont 
House.^^ The Catholics of Chicago, however, were un- 

^* Father St. Cyr's first Mass in Chicago, May 5, 1833, was 
celebrated iu the above mentioned house on the west side of 
Market Street. The Sauganash stood, not on the southeast corner 
of Lake and Market Streets, as it is sometimes stated, but almost 
eighty feet to the south on the east side of Market Street. 
See Caton, The Last of the Illinois and a Sketch of the Pota- 
watomies, 29, in Fergiis Historical Series, 3. 

19 1 i rpi^p most historical lot in Chicago undoubtedly is tlie 

one occupied by the Tremont House In 1833, Captain 

Luther Nichols refused to give Baptiste Beaubien forty cords of 


al)le to collect this amount, in aildition lo wlinl llicy 
had already subscribed for the church, and in conse- 
quence Jean Baptiste's offer could not l)e accepted. 
The latter shortly afterwards sold this lot to Dr. ^Vil- 
liam Egan, who in 1836 disposed of it, so it is said. 
for the sum of $60,000. Taking advice of Mr. Beaubien 
and Colonel Owens, the Indian agent, Father St. Cyr 
now decided to l)uild the chnreh on a canal lot at the 
southwest corner of Lake and State streets, the last 
named thoroughfare not having been as yet laid out. 
The lot adjoined or almost adjoined the military reserv- 
ation around which was a fence enclosing a miiuljcr of 
acres of cultivated land. It does not appear that Father 
St. Cyr purchased this property or acquired any sort 
of title to it, though he did obtain a guarantee that no 
l)id Avould be admitted higher than the valuation to be 
placed on it by the canal commissioners. At all events, 
it was on this Lake Street lot, occupied in hiler years 
by the printing house of Cameron, Aml)erg & Co.. that 

wood for it and wood was then worth $1.25 a cord." Hccollcc- 
tions of J. D. Bonnctt, in Andreas, op. cit., 1: 137. 

According- lo Kirkland, Story of Chicago, 1: 157, Ihc lot 
offorod l)y Col. Beaubien to Father St. Cyr for a church-site was 
on tlie north side of Lalte Street between Dearborn and State, 
being lot 7 of block IG, in size 80x150 feet. On September 27, 
1830, Col. Beaubien Iwuglit, it being the first public sale of lots 
held in Chicago, ten lots at an aggregate cost to him of $34(5. 
Among them were two lots, one at the northwest, another at the 
southeast corner of Lake and Dearborn Street, the first being 
the original and the second the later site of the historic Tremont 
House. Col. Beaubien 's ten lols bore a valuation in 1853 of 
$450,000 and in 1891 of $2,480,000. The story of the financial 
reverses of this redoubtable pioneer, Chicago's heaviest tax-payer 
in 1825, John Kinzie and Antoinc Ouilmette coming next, is a 
chapter of tragic interest in the early history of the city. 

PUBLIC 11^^ 


Augustine Dcoilat Taylor, builder of six of Chicago's pioneer 
Catholic Churches, iucludiiio- the four earliest, Saint Mary's, Saint 
Patrick's, Saint Peter's, Saint Joseph's. He came to Chicago in 
1833, four years later than his brother Anson, and was thereafter 
a resident of the city up to his death. From a photograph in the 
possession of his niece. Miss :\Ionica Taylor of llulibard Woods, 


the first Catholic church of Chicago was erected under 
the name of St. Mary's. On the same lot with the 
church stood a house built by a Mr. Dexter Graves, who, 
like Father St. Cyr, had l)uilt on the property only 
after he had received a guarantee that it would not be 
sold at a price in excess of the valuation to be fixed by 
the canal commissioners. When eventually the lot came 
on the market at the commissioners' appraisement of 
$10,000, Mr. Dexter Graves became the purchaser at 
that figure, the Catholics of Chicago finding it beyond 
their means to raise so considerable a sum."" 

-" Letter of Father St. Cyr to Hon. John Wentworth, (His- 
corical Scrap-Bool:, St. Ignatius College Library, Chicago). This 
letter is the basis of the account in Andreas, op. cit., 1 : 290, 
from which the following additional details are cited: 

' ' In the meantime, not anticipating the high -^riae at which 
the lot would be appraised, they erected thereon a church build- 
ing, twenty-five by thirty-five feet in size. The lumber for this 
building was brought in a sqow across the lake from St. Joseph, 
Mich., a brother of Augustine Deodat Taylor, with his own team, 
hauled it from the schooner to the site of the prospective church. 
Augustine D. Taylor was the architect and builder. The total 
cost of the edifice was about $400, but though small and in- 
expensive it was not completed sufficiently for occupying and 
dedication until in October. Catholic Indians assisted at the 
first Mass celebrated therein. Indian women had cleaned and 
prepared the modest building for the celebration of the sacred 
rite, and Deacon John Wright, a strong supporter of Eev. Jere- 
miah Porter, pastor of the first Presbv'terian church, had, in 
August, assisted in raising the frame of the building. At this 
dedication service there were present about one hundred persons. 
The church itself was not plastered, it had only rough benches 
for pews and the simplest of tables for altar and pulpit. The 
outside of the building was not painted and it had neither 
steeple nor tower. Some time afterwards it was surmounted by 
a low, open tower, in which a small bell was hung, being the 


Shortly after his return to Chicago from St. Louis, 
Father St. Cyr Avrotc to l^>isliop Rosati. June 11. 1834: 

'"^t.Cyrto "I arrived in Cliicag'o the fifth of this month, (June, 

^''*'"'' ,00. 1834) to the ffreat astonishment of the people, who thought 

Junell,lS34 ' • . . rn, i i 4. 

1 was never g'onig to return. I hoy were pleased to see me 
again. Last Sunday we had lligli Mass, the church heing full 
of people despite the bad weather, and in the afternoon we 
sang' Vespers. A great many Americans assisted at the 

I cannot give you the population of Chicago exactly. 
The common opinion is that there are two thousand iiihal)- 
itants in town and every day you may see vessels and steam- 
boats put in here from the lake crowded with families who 
come to settle in Chicago. Every day new houses may be 
seen going up on all sides. Surgunt moenia Trojae. 

In the course of my joui-ney I saw or visited nearly all 
the Catholics of Illinois. I performed 13 baptisms and 4 
marriages and gave the Catholics of Sugar Creek, Deer Creek, 
South Fork and Springfield an ()p])i)rtunity to make their 
Easter duty. 

Eighteen miles above Peoria I found several Catliolie 
• families who so far have not been visited. I could not stop 
there but I promised to visit them when I should return from 
Chicago. As I learn that [Rev.] Mr. Fitzmaurice is at Galena, 
am I to remain in Chicago or is he to take on himself the 
duty with which I have been charged, namely, of visiting 
Chicago from time to time*?-! I await your orders in this 

first bell used in Chicago to call the pious together for religious 
worship. It was the size of an ordinary locomotive bell of the 
present, and could be heard for only a short distance." 

Augustine D. Taylor, biiililcr of the cliurdi. relates in his 
T! vci s, pnl)lished in one of the Chicago dailies, that when 
he went I0 collect his liill from Mark Beaubicn, the treasurer of 
the building fund, the latter pulled from under his bed a half- 
bushel l)asket of shining silver half-dollars, such as the (Jovcni- 
nicnt used in paying the Indians their annuities. 

■' Father Charles Fitzmaurice, a native of Ireland, joined 


matter; please be so good, Monseigneur, as to let me know as 
soon as possible what I am to do." 

Bishop Rosati's prompt reply to Father St. Cyr's 
inquiry in regard to Galena elicited from the latter a 
communication under date of July 2, 1831, in which 
he sets forth his views concerning the proper place to 
station the missionary who was to attend to the spiritual 
needs of the Catholics of Central Illinois. 

"I have just received your letter under date of June 20, St. Cyr to 
by which I learn that [Rev.] Mr. Fitzmaurice is at Galena and 
will remain there definitely. I am greatly pleased with the 
news as it relieves me of the considerable uneasiness I should 
have felt had I been obliged to visit this place according to 
the charge you first gave me. 

As to the Catholics whom you tell me about in your letter, 
Monseigneur, I am acquainted with them, have met them and 
know where they live. Despite all this, I cannot visit them 
so long as I remain in Chicago, in view of the fact that they 
are 150 miles from where I am stationed and that I cannot 
meet the expenses I am obliged to incur in running from place 
to place. What is more, my health would allow it less at the 
present time than ever. 

As to the most centrally located place from which to visit 
all the Catholics of Illinois, and I gave the matter particular 
attention during my journey from St. Louis to Chicago, it is 
in my opinion Springfield, 100 miles from St. Louis and a 
little over 200 miles from Chicago. Here is the place I should 
pick out for headquarters, as being the most suitable for the 
purpose. But you see at the same time that I cannot visit 
the Catholics of Illinois on account of the great distance in- 
tervening between the settlements and the difficulties to be met 
with in traveling over the prairies. Hence, either Chicago 

the St. Louis diocese in 1834. He left St. Louis on May 22 of 
that year for Galena, to which place he was assigned by Bishop 
Rosati in succession to Father McMahon, who had died the year 
before. Shepherd of the Valley, May 23, 1834. 


or the Catholics of Illinois are to be neglected or else some 
other measui-es must be taken. Now, Monseigneur, it is for 
you to decide as you judge best. Only, whether you judge 
it proper that I remain in Chicago or leave it, kindly let me 
know as soon as i^ossible, because, if I am to remain here at 
least some time longer, the people are going to enlai-ge the 
church by 24 feet and build a presbytery. It would disappoint 
and even discourage them were we now to abandon them after 
having put them to so much expense. 

We have had 34 [?] pews put in the churcli. some for 
four and some for six persons. 

Last Sunday, I gave first Communion to four distin- 
guished persons, Madame Beaubien, whom I baptized with 
one of her children, IVIadame Juneau Solomon [Solomon 
Juneau], etc. A large number of Catholics approached the 

The population of Chicago increases daily; the town num- 
bers now about 2,400 inhabitants. People here are anxious 
to know when the Bishop will be appointed. They would like 
to have him in Chicago. 

If you judge it expedient that I remain in Chicago until 
another priest comes, please tell [Rev.] Mr. Lutz to secure 
for me the books which I suggested that he send me at the 
first opportunity. 

They are books I should find of the greatest utility here, 
but I have been without them, as I could not take them with 
me when I left St. Louis. I should be gratified to know. 
Monseigneur, whether the books of which I gave you a list 
that you might have them brought from the Barrens are at 
length in St. Louis." 

It may be noted in connection with tlie ahove letter 
of Father St. Cyr that he had been preceded in his 

"Madam Beaubien (Josottc LafraTiiboisc), second wife of 
Col. Baptistc Beaulnen, and her son, Alexander Beaubien, were 
baptized by Father St. Cyr on June 28, 1833. Madame Juneau 
was the wife of Solomon Juneau, the founder of Milwaukee and 
first mayor of that city. 


ministry to the Catholics of Sprinprfield and other 
localities in Sangamon County, Illinois, by the Jesuit 
missionary, Father Charles Van Quickenborne, who 
established the Missouri Province of the Society of 
Jesus in 1823. Father Van Quickenborne 's baptisms 
in Sangamon County, dating as early as 1832, are, 
among the earliest, if not the earliest recorded for that 
part of the state of Illinois.-'' 

-' Allusion may here be made to the statement appearing 
at intervals in the Catholic press that Father St. Cyr, on occa- 
sion of these ministerial visits to the Catholics of Sangamon and 
adjoining counties in Illinois, often said Mass in the house of 
Thomas Lincoln, father of the future President, Abraham Lin- 
coln. The most authoritative version of the statement in question 
is furnished by Archbishop Ireland in a letter communicated to 
the editor of the American Catholic Historical Bfsearches, 22: 207. 

"I happen to be able to furnish a slight contribution to 
the discussion by repeating, without peril of mistake, what the 
old missionary, Father St. Cyr, was wont actually to say touch- 
ing Catholicity in the Lincoln household. Father St. Cyr was a 
priest of the diocese of St. Louis, from which in early days the 
scattered Catholics of Southern Illinois received ministerial at- 
tention. He was a remarkable man, intelligent to a very high 
degree, most zealous in work, most holy in life. I knew him 
when in later years he was chaplain to the Sisters of St. Joseph, 
of Carondelet. He held in vivid recollection the story of the 
Church in olden times through Missouri and Illinois. It was a 
delight and a means of most valuable information to sit by 
and converse with him. In 1866 he spent a month visiting nie 
in St. Paul. Here is his statement, as I then took it down in 
writing, regarding the Lincoln family. ' I visited several times 
the Lincolns in their home in Southern Illinois. The father and 
stepmother of Abraham Lincoln both were Catholics. How they 
had become Catholics I do not know. They were not well in- 
structed in their religion; but they were strong and sincere in 
their profession of it. I said Mass repeatedly in their house. 
Abraham was not a Catholic; he never had been one, and he 


never led iiic to believe that he would become one At llie time 
Abraham was twenty years old or thereabouts, a tall, thin young 
fellow, kind and g'ood-natured. lie used to assist me in pre- 
paring tlie altar for Mass. Once he made me a present of a half 
dozen diairs. He had made those chairs with his own hands, 
expressly for me; they were simple in form and fasliion as chairs 
used in country places then would bo.' " 

Without raising the question of the value to be attached to 
the testimony of Father St. Cyr in regard to the alleged Cath- 
olicity of tlie Lincoln family, it may here 1)0 stated that 
there were certainly Catholic connections of the President's 
family settled in Hancock County, Illinois, where tliey were 
visited by Father Van Quickcnborne in his missionary rounds 
during the early thirties. (The Van Quickenborno baptismal 
records for Illinois are in the Archives of St. Mary's College, 
St. Mary's, Kansas. See also an important article, "The Lin- 
colns of Fountain Green" in the St. Louis Glohe-Democrat, 
February it, 1899). One of these Hancock County Lincolns, 
Abraham Lincoln by name and a first cousin of the President, 
figures in a baptismal entry in Father Van Quickenborne's 
records. "But to return to the Fountain Green Lincolns. The 
religion of the family was Eoman Catholic. The brothers, Abra- 
ham and James, were members of the Catholic church in Ken- 
tucky and they are all buried in the old Catholic cemetery a 
short distance from the village of Fountain Green, as are other 
members of the family." Journal Illinois State Historical So- 
cietij, 8: 62. It seems probable that in Father St. Cyr's recol- 
lections of later years the Sangamon County Lincolns were con- 
founded with the Catholic Lincolns of Hancock County. 

^ Tl: 

The Rt. Rev. Simon William Galnicl Bnito, first Bisliop of 
Vincenncs, in tlic territory of wliich diocese Chicago was inchuled 
during tlic period 18:U-1843. Ascetic, litterateur, educator and 
tireless worker in the ministry. Bishop Brute is an outstanding 
figure of inteiest and charm "in the story of the early develop- 
ment of Catiiolicism in the United States. Engraving by J. A. 
O'Neill from a cast taken after death. The only portrait of the 
prelate known to exist and according to his biographer, Bishop 
Bayley of Newark, "a good representation of his features." 



By the Bull, Maximas inter, Gregory XVI erected Diocese of 
in 1834 the diocese of Vincemies, comprising the y"*"""""**' 
state of Indiana and Illinois east of a line from Fort 
Massac along the eastern boundaries of Johnson, 
Franklin, Jefferson, Marion, Fayette, Shelb}^ and ]\Iann 
Counties, to the Illinois river, eight miles above Ottawa, 
and thence to the northern boundary of the State.^ 
Eastern Illinois and with it Chicago thus fell within the 
limits of the new ecclesiastical district and the story of 
Catholicism in that rapidly grooving town became for, 
a decade a chapter in the history of the diocese of 

The choice of the Bishops of America, ratified by simon 
Gregory XVI, for incumbent of the newly erected see, q^^^!^^ 
fell upon Father Simon William Gabriel . Brute de Brutd 
Remur, at the moment professor of theology in ]\It. St. 

^ Shea, History of the Catholic Church in the United States, 
3: 640. "It seems to me, and I have answered to that effect, 
that my true limits in Illinois being a meridian drawn from 
Fort Massac to the Falls of the Illinois river, eight miles above 
Ottawa, everything to the West belongs to the diocese of St. Louis, 
as the town of Shelbyville, Decatur, Bloomington, Ottawa." 
Brute to Rosati. The full text of the decree of Gregory XVI de- 
fining the limits of the diocese of Vincennes is translated in the 
Illinois Catholic Historical Bevieio, 2: 411. 



^Mary's Seiniiiai'v, neai- Kiiiniitsbui'ji;. ^lai'vlaiul. IJorii 
at J\('iiiios ill Brittany, March 20, 1779, this singiUarly 
typical Breton Catholic passed through the fiery oi-deal 
of tlie Fi'cnch Kevolutioii, being eye-witness of iiiaiiy 
of the gruesome excesses, Inii-nt forever afterwards into 
his memory, that nuirked the ])rogi'ess of the great up- 
heaval. From medicine, in whicli he graduated with 
the highest honors, he turned to the priesthood, came to 
America in 1810, became a member of the Society of 
St. Sulpice, and Avas for a period President of the 
Sulpician Seminary of St. ]\Iary"s in Ballimoi'c. lOx- 
ceptional gifts of mind and heart, a vast range of 
learning, ardent personal piety, ascetic haljits of life, 
the faith of a Breton peasant, though not of the 
peasantry himself, engaging manners and an ex(iuisite 
sympathy for others, made Brute an outstanding figure 
in every circle in which he moved. His correspondence, 
distinguished alike in sentiment and literary form, up- 
held the best traditions of the classic letter-writers of 
his native land. Friends he made in numbers, among 
them figures of the highest distinction in the chureh 
circles of the day. ^Mother Seton, foundress of the 
American Daughters of Saint Vincent dc Paul, counted 
him the most trusted of her spirtual guides. lie knew 
intimately the unhappy De Lammenais and attempted, 
vainly withal, both in personal visits in Fi-ance and in 
letters from the United States to recover that brilliant 
ecclesiastic for the Church. 

Such was Simon William Gabriel Brute de Renmr, 
who saw himself summoned by the Holy See to occui)y 
the new See of Vincennes. Bishop England is said to 
have expressed in council his serious misgivings as to 
the fitness of this very retiring and unworldly figure, 

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Tlie diocese of Viuceinies at its birth. Oifluiiid pen-and-ink sketeli by 
Bishop Brute in a letter addressed to Bishop Rosati, March 2, 18o5. The 
congregations under his jurisdiction, so Brute informs his correspondent, 
"lie oflf [lit. play] at four corners, 200, 250 miles away from tlie see, 
Vincennes." Saint Louis Archdiocesan Archives. 


this ascetic and man of books, for the rough tasks of a 
missionary-bishop; but all doubts his friends may have 
entertained as to his fitness for his new duties vanished 
when they saw him set himself with amazing energy and 
zeal to cultivate the great spiritual waste of Indiana 
and Eastern Illinois which Providence had entrusted to 
his hands.^ 

Father Brute was conducting a spiritual retreat for 
Mother Seton's Sisters at their Mother-house in Emmits- 
burg, Maryland, when the papal bull appointing him 
Bishop of Vincennes came into his hands; and he is 
said to have opened the document in the chapel and 
read it on his knees.^ At the first opportunity he went 
into retreat to determine whether to accept or decline 
the proffered dignity, drawing up on this occasion, in 
very precise and lawyer-like fashion, a memorandum of 

- For information coucerninjj this remarkable member of the 
Catholic hierarchy in the United States, see Bayley, Memories of 
Bishop Brute; R. F. Clarke, Lives of the Deceased Bisliops of 
the United States, 2: 7 ; Catholic Encyclopedia, 3 : 24 ; Herber- 
mann. The Sulpicians in the United States. Bishop Du Bourg 
had already, in 1822, proposed either Brute or Rosati as his 
successor in St. Louis in case that city were erected into a new 
See. ' ' I have cast my eyes on two men, one French, the other 
Italian; the one a Sulpician, who has been in Baltimore for 
twelve years and is a man of universal knowledge, of eminent 
sanctity, whose zeal was in the past considered excessive, but 
which age and experience have toned down to the proper degree; 
for the rest, possessing in a high degree the power of making 
himself beloved, because his heart is the tenderest and humblest 
that I know of, blessed finally with strength proportionate to the 
immense labors that he would have to undertake." Du Bourg a 
Plessis, Archbishop of Quebec, in Becords of the American Cath- 
olic Historical Society, 19 : 192. 

^ Bayley, Memories of Bishop Brute, p. 58. 



tlic reasons ))i'() and con. Induonced solely by a ]iit,'li 
sense of duly, he made liis choice for aeceplanee and set 
out for St. Louis in Septem])er. 1834, to receive conscci'a- 
tion. At Bardstown, on the way, he withdrew for some 
days into retreat to fortify hini.self by prayer 
the grave responsibility he was about to shoulder. And 
here Ave find him already anxious over the im])ending 
removal from Chicago of Father St. Cyr, whose services 
that place had been enjoying only through the courtesy 
of the Bishop of St. Louis. From Bardstown where he 
met Bishop Flagct he wi'ote October 5 to Bisho]) Kosati : 

Brule lo '-It ^\o^}■:i not seem that Mgr. Rezc will be able to come. 

Rosaii,^ I regret it exceedingly. He writes nie that you are recalling 
Mr. St. (^yr from Chicago on account of his health. May I 
find him better and may I recover in St. Louis the services of 
this worthy i)riest. Ah! Monseigneur, you will accord me in 
my destitution everything you possibly can. I have got abso- 
lutely no one for Vineennes on starting out, nor the promise 
of anybody later on. I can only say the i^rayer we recite at 

the ordination of priests Domine haec adjumenta 

largire qui quanta fragiliores sumus tanto his plurihus in- 
digemuH. [Grant us, Lord, these helps which we need in 
measure proportionate to our weakness.] I tind here only Mr. 
Picot, whom everybody tells me to leave here. At the Jesuits' 
place, St. Mary's, good Father Chazelles gi'ants me leather 
Petit, but only for the moment of installation niul a tew days 
after.^ They tell me that Mr. Badin will be al)le to make his 

■' 8iunl Aliirv's Colli\u(N near Lelituioii, Maiimi ("duiity, Ken- 
tucky was al tills time under tlie maua^cmciit of a colony of 
Froncli ,1 ('suits, Fattier Ctiazettes l)emg Superior. Father Louis 
Petit, one of tlieir nnnd)ei', who accompanied Brute to Saint Louis 
for til? hitter's ("(uisecrat ion. is not to be identified with Father 
Louis Benjamin Petit of the secuhir ('lei<;y, the Potawatomi 
niissionaiy, who went witli his Indian charges on llnnr forced 
journey from Indiana to tlie West in 1838. 


resklenee at Fort Wayne. From there up to Logansj^ort there 
are, so they say, about 2,000 Irishmen engaged on the work 
of opening a canal, whom it would be well to attend to in the 
near future. But we shall reserve all these matters for the 
conversations we are soon to have." ^ 

On September 30 Bishop-elect Brute had already 
written to Bishop Eosati representing that he might 
find it necessary to appeal to "the great, rich and 
splendid metroplis of Missouri" for financial help to 

enable him to continue his journey to St. Louis 

"But I do very wrong to obtrude into matters that 
ought to be left to you, good and wise Bishop. I pass 
the pen to ^Igr. Flaget and on both knees ask your 
blessing. ' ' Bishop Flaget 's post-script runs as follows : 

"What modesty, humility, simplicity in these few words Flaget to 
written by the new Bishop-elect! It all edifies me and puts ^o««^^' 
me to the blush at the same time. For the five daj's I have \gg^ 
been in the company of this successor of the Apostles, I have 
done nothing but admire and bless the Providence which com- 
passes mightily its designs by means inexplieible and such as 
would be reputed folly in the eyes of wordlings. The figure, 
rather odd, of this excellent jjrelate; the ceaseless motions of 
his fingers, hands, head and whole body when he speaks; his 

■'' Saint Louis Archdiocesan Archives. Numerous unpublisliod 
letters of Bishop Brute are preserved in various Catholic deposi- 
taries throughout the country. His correspondence with Bishop 
Eosati comprising 138 letters is in the Saint Louis Archdiocesan 
Archives {Saint Louis Catholic Historical Bevietv, 1: 33) and 
his correspondence with Judge Gaston is in the Catholic Archives 
of America, Notre Dame University. All in all, abundant orig- 
inal material is extant for an authoritative tirst-hand biography 
of Bishop Brute. With the exception of the letter to Mother 
Eose, the Brute letters incorporated in this sketch are here pub- 
lished for the iirst time from the French originals in the Saint 
Louis Archdiocesan Archives. 


language, English pronounced exactly like French and coming 
from a mouth that is almost toothless, all this "would seem 
perforce to render him useless for the post assigned him, not 
to say laughable and ridiculous. But, mon Bieii, when he 
speaks of our Divine Lord, of His love for men, of His con- 
tinual spirit of sacrifice, etc., my heart dilates and is aglow 
like that of the disciples of Emmaus. I am ])eside myself; 
1 ho])e then against all hope and look forward to wonder upon 
wonder to be wrouglit by this venerable Apostle. 

To give you a slight idea of his i^erfect abandonment to 
Divine Providence, in the more than twenty letters which he 
has written to Mgr, David and myself on the bishopric of 
Vineennes, the number of Catholic missionaries, etc., he has 
never said a word about his episcopal revenue or about his 
palace, its furniture, etc.; and so, conformably to these prin- 
ciples of disinterestedness, he seems to be content as a king, 
because, of the one hundred and fifty dollars which he col- 
lected in the East, some $G0 or $80 still remain to him now 
when he has almost reached his destination. For the love of 
God, bring this veritable and more than episcopal poverty to 
the notice of the pious and generous souls of St. Louis, so 
that they will come to his aid not only by meeting the ex- 
penses he will incur by transferring his consecration to Saint 
Louis, but by helping him to set up his new household. My 
dear Brother, I am a beggar for other people, when in all 
conscience I could be a beggar for myself." 

From Bardstown Bishop-elect Brute travelled by 
stage to Saint Louis in company with Bishop Flagct, 
the Nestor of the Catholic hierarchy in the West, then 
in his seventy-second year. The two Averc caught in a 
violent storm on the prairie and suffered severely from 
wet and cold. " L'incomparahle," Brute calls his ven- 
erable companion as he pictures him drying his breviary 
before the inn-fire.*^ The travellers assisted at the con- 
secration of the new Saint Louis Cathedral, which took 

" Bayley, 21tmorus of Bisliop Bruti, p. 61. 


pMce October 26, 1834. Two days later, on October 28, 
followed the consecration of Brute at the hands of 
Bishop Flaget, assisted by Bishops Rosati and Purcell. 
Nothing weighed more heavily on the spirits of 
Bishop Brute in the days immediately preceding his 
consecration than the spiritual plight in which Chicago 
was left by the recall to Saint Louis of Father St. Cyr. 
And yet he was unable to discuss the weighty matter 
with Bishop Rosati, so absorbed was the latter in prep- 
aration for the consecration of the new house of worship 
and in other pressing business. But if he could not 
confer with the Saint Louis prelate on the Chicago situ- 
ation, he could at least lay the matter before him in a 
written memorial. 

"The clays are slipping by. You are so busy that I 
cannot see you or rather can see you only at times when you 
ought to be giving that over-burdened head and heart of 
yours some little repose — I write to you instead. 

I beg you to reconsider seriously before the Lord the case 
of Mr. St. Cyr and grant me him (or else Mr. Koux or Mr. 
Loisel or Mr. Dupuy) — but Mr. St. Cyr is already kno>vn and 
esteemed in Chicago.''' 

In tliis event, (1) I will give him $50 at first and more 
later on. (2) I will go ahead of him to Chicago immediately 
after my installation to announce him and to pledge the peo- 
ple my assistance; and I will return there in the Spring. 

I beg you to consider (1) that the Holy Father who es- 
tablishes this new diocese, desires that it be encouraged by the 

' Father Benedict Roux, fellow-countrpnau and intimate 
friend of Father St. Cyr, was at this time resident priest among 
the French Catholics settled on the site of Kansas City, Missouri, 
whither he was sent by Bishoi? Rosati in November, 1833. 

Father Regis Loisel (1805-1845) was the first Saint Louisan 
raised to the priesthood. Father E. Dupuy was stationed at "The 
Post" in Arkansas. 

78 THE CATHOLIC cnrucii ix Chicago 

nc'iy-liboring Ijishops. Mgr. Flag'et grants me Messrs. Lalu- 
miere, Ferueding and Badin — do you grant me Mr. St. Cyr 
for the space of a year, during wliieh I shall endeavor to ob- 
tain some other priests.^ (2) Be pleased to recall with what 
zeal and with what respect for the priests of Saint Vincent de 
Paul and the missionaries of Mgr. Du Bourg, I did all I pos- 
sibly could in 1816, the critical date of yours' and Mr. De 
Andi'ois's arrival; and in 181!) for his second band of mis- 
sionaries.^ No sooner had I consented to accept my ai)point- 
ment, than everything failed me at once, — money, priests to 
bring along with me, priests already on the ground — Mr. St. 
Cyr, Mr. Picot, Mr. Petit, each for some different reason — 
money, sisters, everything, and still T am going to be conse- 
crated. Oh! do make an effort and write again yourself to 
the Archbishop. 

If you help to organize this diocese, which you have 
together created in council, for the Holy Father could not do 
otherwise than second your desire, within a few years this 
empty country between yourself and (Mnciimati will be filled 
up — those very important points, Chicago and Fort Wayne — 
Vincennes will have its Sisters again. Sisters! Ah, j\Ion- 
seigneur, I have done so much to secure them for you. For 
twentv-five years I have put to use all that I was, all that I 

•^FatluM- Simon P. Lalumicro (1804-1857), a native of Vin- 
cennes, Indiana, welcomed P.isliop P.iute at his installation in 
Xnveml)(M-, 1834. He was a zealous, energetic missionary, identi- 
tied with tlie pioneer days of the diocese of Vincennes and died 
pastor of Saint Joseph's church, Terro Haute, Indiana. A rough 
sketch-map of the Vincennes diocese drawn by Bishop l?rute in 
a letter to Bishop Rosati, March 1, 1835, indicates "Mr. Ferncd- 
ing's Germans" as located cast of Vincennes towards the Ohio 
line. Saint Louis Archdiocesan Archives. 

"The Right Rev. Louis William Valentine Du Btnirg, Bishop 
of Louisiana and the Floridas, was installed in Saint Louis as 
his I'athedral city .Tanuary fi, 181S. Among the European recruits 
he lM■^u^llt with him to Missouri was a party of Lazarists or 
Priests of the Mission, inchuling the saintly Father Felix De 
Andrcis and Father Joseph Rosati, the future Bishop of St. Louis. 


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had ; and now they make me bishop in spite of all reluctance of 
mine and against my own personal conviction as to the sphere 
of well-doing in which I should have been allowed to remain. 

I have laid before you all my weakness. If you had 
named a man of talent or enterprise, one made for the place, 
you might more readily leave him to himself to create his own 

But with me the case is quite the contrary — even my 
exterior is against me, as Mgr. Flaget and yourself realize, 
for there is no dissembling the fact. All this calls then for a 
more generous effort of zeal in the interests of the diocese to 
which you have together summoned me. 

Deign then, to pray and deliberate in viscerihus Christi 
and under the eyes, as it were, of His Vicar on earth, who, I 
am confident, desires only to have his holy enterprise of a new 
diocese succeed and above all make a good beginning. 

The occasion of the dedication of a church in regard to 
which the Divine Goodness has favored you in so admirable 
a manner, when, too, every one comes to respond with joyful 
efforts to your simple appeal, will be an auspicious one, I 
hope, for these simple lines; it is a child and a subject of 
St. Louis Avho supplicates and the cause, moreover, is such an 
urgent one. Grant, I beseech you, the prayer of 

Your very respectful and devoted brother, 

SiMOx Brute. 

Let me know the answer you return to this memorial on 

Below the signature of the memorial Bishop Flaget 
wrote, in his cliaraeteristically tremljling script, the fol- 
lowing lines : 

"In the pitiable and truly deplorable situation in which 
our dear confrere finds himself placed through the choice we 
have made of him, does not charity, not to say justice even, 
require that we render the yoke at least bearable for him at 
his entrance into this frightful desert? And to this end, could 
you not acquiesce in the petition of IMgr. Brute, which surely 
is not extravagant, and influence Mr. Condamine, to whom 


you will disclose the very great diHieulties that beset the poor 
bishop of Vincennes, to defer for a year his journey to France 
aiul remain at his post, thus giving' Mr. St. Cyr a chance 
to return to Chicago and stay there during that period ."° 
It appears to me that Mr. Condamine, let his generosity and 
feeling be ever so slight, cannot fail to enter into your views. 
Hisce expositis, fac, dilectifisime amice, (puxl libi jjUicuerit. 
[These representations having' been made, do, my vciy dear 
friend, just as you please]." 

This remarkable joint appeal of the Bishop-eleet of 
Vincennes and the Bishop of Bardstown was not with- 
out effect. Father St. Cyr was soon dispatched to Chi- 
cago with instructions to remain there for another year. 

A communication from Bishop Brute to the Cin- 
cinnati Catiiolic Telegraph under the pen-name "Vin- 
cennes" reveals the satisfaction he felt over the an-ange- 
ment thus made. 

"From Chicago the Bishop had the pleasing- account of 
the return of the Rev. Mr. St. Cyr, ordained and sent by the 
Bishop of St. Louis to that most interesting and rajiidly grow- 

'" Fatlicv Mattliew Coiiiliiniinc, of Frciu-h l)iitli, was attached 
to the Saiut Louis diocese during the period 1831-1837. Bishop 
Flaget, it may be noted here, had expressed his satisfaction to 
Bishop Rosati over FuUum- St. Cyr's first appoiutmcnt to the 
Mission of Chicago, tluii within the limits of the diocese of 
Bardstowii. ''I tell you that you did very well to send Mr. 
St. Cyr to 'Chicago and if you could send two to the same dis- 
trict and even into Indiana, vou would greatly tranquilli/.c the 
conscience of the Bishop of Bardstown." Fhigct a Rosati, 17 
May, 1833. Saint Louis Arehdiocesan Archives. "The Catholic 
Telegraph published frequently a Vincennes letter fi-om ]iishop 
Brute, the 'French-English' of which Bishop Purcell 'amended' 
as Mother Seton had done in earlier days." Sister Mary Agnes 
McCann, Archbishop Purcell and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 
p. 22. 


ing town, the southern port of Lake Michigan, with which a 
canal will soon connect the Illinois river. He had been re- 
called to his own diocese, when Chicago with a part of the 
State of Illinois was attached to that of Vincennes. Our 
Bishop obtained his return before he left St. Louis after his 
consecration. A house built on the lot of the church during 
the absence of Mr. St. Cyr was with kind attention prepared 
for him. Soon that most promising i^oint may receive Sisters ; 
perhaps have a large college, for in scarcely three years the 
town has advanced from a few scattered houses to the aston- 
ishing progress of about three thousand souls. Who can tell 
how much of improvement a few years more may enact for 
such a place. ^^ " 

" Cincinnati Catholic Telegra'pli, January 16, 1835. At the 
time of Bishop Brute's consecration, there were only three priests 
in the entire diocese of Vincennes. ' ' Mr. Lalumiere took charge of 
the Missions in the vicmity of Vincennes, but still 25 or 30 miles 
distant, and in the whole diocese there were but two other 
Priests, one Mr. Ferneding, in charge of the German missions 
150 miles distant, and Mr. St. Cyr, whom Bishop Rosati had 
permitted to assist me for one year and who was stationed in 
Chicago, 225 miles off." Bayley, op. cit., 63. 



The. winter of 1834-1835, the first which Father 
St. Cyr s])ent in Chicago, was a mild one, as winters 
in that hx-ality nsnally went. But for one reared in 
the softer climate of southern France, it was trying 
enough as the Father intimates to Bisliop Rosati : 

"I avail myself of the occasion otfcred throu<;ii Mr. 
Boilvin who leaves today [January 12, 1835] for St. Louis 
to let you hear from me. Up to the present my health has 
been sufiReiently good not to prevent me from attending to my 
duties, though I often experience pains through my whole 
body, causing me at times not a little suffering. These pains 
have become more acute, since flic cold weather began to 
moderate a little. 

The winter is very mild this year and if we are to believe 
the old Canadian residents, it is no winter at all. To give 
you a more correct idea of it, we have only 2 [1] inches of 
ice and tliere lias been skating on all the rivers for more than 
a month; and still they launch bitter complaints heavenwaid 
because the ice is not strong enough. Judge from this what a 
winter here must be when there is one. 

Labor improbus omnia vincit. Our little chapel is lin- 
ished at last, but not without many difiiculties and annoy- 
ances occasioned by the mild winter of the Canadians. We 
have been ol)liged to keep up a lire constantly day and nigiit 
tt) prevent the plaster from freezing, and this for more than 
tln-ee weeks. Only at the end of this time were we able to 
say Mass, but since then we have had Mass and Vespers sung 
everv Sumhiv, sonu'times to music though tliat is not always 


Saint Mary's, the first Catholic Church in Chicago, erected in 
1833 by Father St. Cyr on the south side of Lake Street near 
State, Augustine D. Taylor ])eing architect and builder. The 
photograph shows it as it stood in its third and last location, 
on the south side of Madison Street between Wabash Avenue and 
State Street. Both Cathedral and the first Saint Mary's Church 
were swept away in the conflagration of 1871. 



very harmonious. However, they do not fail to make a noise 
and this is what is looked for here. But it must be observed 
that if there is discord in our music, it is owing not precisely 
to any fault or bad will on the part of the musicians but to 
their lack of instruments. I wrote lately to Cincinnati for 

I will also state that though I speak English very poorly, 
the Americans do not fail to come in crowds to our church 
every Sunday, and if it is finished, it is partly to their gen- 
erosity that I owe it. 

You see from this, Monseigneur, that our little church is 
far from being put up for sale, as our miracle-worker said 
on board the steam-boat Michigan (I mean the Presbyterian 
minister of this town). If there is any church that will keep 
on growing, it is the Catholic church, though it be small in the 
beginning, as is only natural. And Jeremiah Porter, Avho 
boldly takes the name of jiastor in a circular to the editor of 
the St. Louis Observer, deceives himself grossly in taking the 
name of pastor of a congregation of 60 or 80 members, as 
lie did on board the steam-boat Michigan, when he mistook a 
piece of ice for a wafer !" ^ 

The spring of 1835 found Bishop Brute in Chicago 
in the course of a canonical visitation of his diocese. An 
account of the visit was communicated by the Bishop to 
the Catholic Telegrapli of Cincinnati. 

"Chicago, 7th of May. Of this place the growth has Ijeen 
surprising, even in the West, a wonder amidst its wonders. 

^ The incident referred to occurred on Ijoard a Lake Michi- 
gan steamer on which the Eev. Jeremiah Porter, the first Pres- 
byterian minister in Chicago, was a passenger. A young Catholic 
by name of Thomas Watkins, also a passenger on the same 
steamer, gave some ice to two cholera patients on board in ac- 
cordance with directions given him by the ship's doctor. The 
minister, who observed the action, concluded somehow that the 
young man had administered the Eucharist to them. A letter of 
"Watkins in explanation of the affair appeared in tlie St. Louis 
Shepherd of the Valley, November 15, 1834. 


From a i'ow scattered houses near the fort it is become, in two 
or three years, a place of great promise. Its settlers san- 
guinoly hope to see it rank as the Cincinnati of the Xorth. 
Here the Catholics have a neat little church. Americans, Irish, 
French and Germans meet at a common altar, assembled irom 
tlie most distant parts of this vast republic or come from the 
shores of Europe to tliose of our lakes. Rev. Mr. St. Cyr is 
their pastor. They have already their choir supported by some 
of the musicians of the garrison. Many of the officers and a 
number of the most respectal)le Protestants attend. The 
Bishop on his arrival in the diocese had been invited by the 
Protestants as well as the Catholics of this place to fix his resi- 
dence among them and felt his gratitude revived by the kind 
reception lie now received. During his stay he preached three 
times in English and on Sunday morning administered the 
sacrament of Confirmation. On the same day Doctor Chase, 
the late Protestant Bishop of Ohio, preached in the Presby- 
terian church of Chicago. The environs of Chicago do not 
appear as favorable for agriculture as the situation of the 
town is for commerce; but time and industry may do much 
for their im]irovoment." - 

We have seen that Bishop Brute, at the time of his 
eonseeration in 8t. Louis, had arranged with Bishop 
Rosati to have Father St. Cyr remain in charge of the 
Catholics of Chicago for at least a year longer. But 
Father St. Cyr was uncertain what his status would be 
when this period had run its He Avrote to 
Bishop Kosati, August 3, 1S35 : 

'"^t. Cyr to ..J i,.j^.g ju^i received a letter from Monseioneur Brute 

Jfosati, 1 ■ ■ X' I • 1 

Anoiists, '^dvismg me of his departure for France. According to this 

- Catholic TcJf graph, August 7, 18."]5. ''At Chicago I luul 
only four to confinii and was unable to enlarge tlie cluirch, the 
title to the property being uncertain." Bi-ute a Rosati, May 
24, 183.5. Bishop Brute estimated the Catholic population of 
Chicago at this period at about four hundred souls. Bayley, 
Ml moriis of Bis]iop Brute, 69. 



letter it appears that I am definitely attached to his diocese 
or at least am to spend the winter in Chicago; but he makes 
no mention of any new arrangement with you. However, 
should you have made any contract with him in virtue of 
which I am attached to his diocese for good or for some 
longer period than the twelve-month of which there was ques- 
tion last year, please have the goodness, Monseigneur, to advise 
me to this effect as soon as possible, that I may know on 
whom I am to depend for orders and that I may take meas- 
ures against the severity of the winter. 

I am very anxious to renew my holy oils — my cases are 
almost dry. Should you find occasion to send me a supply, 
I shall be a thousand times obliged to you. 

The town of Chicago is growing rapidly. Immigration 
was so considerable for a space of almost three weeks that 
there is fear of a famine. A barrel of flour has sold as high 
as twenty dollars. 

Many Catholic families have arrived in Chicago. There 
is no sickness here, thanks be to God. I learned that the 
cholera paid you a visit and carried oft' a number of persons. 

I asked good [Kev.] Mr. Lutz quite a while ago for 
some Mass intentions.^ He seems to have forgotten me en- 
tirely, and yet I tliink very often of him. If I am to spend 
the winter here I intend to take a trip to St. Louis before 
the end of fall, Beo adjuvante — but all this, Monseigneur, 
depends on the answer you will send me." 

Bishop Kosati's answer to Father St. Cyr was to 
the effect that he should remain at his post in Chicago 
until the return of Bishop Brute from Europe, in which 
decision Father St. Cyr readily acquiesced. 

^ Father Joseph Lutz, born at Odenheim in Germany, did 
missionary work among the Kansa Indians in 1828 and was sub- 
sequently assistant pastor at the Cathedral of St. Louis and pas- 
tor of St. Patrick's Church in that city. An excellent sketch of 
him from first-hand sources by Rev. Francis Holweck was pub- 
lished in the St. Louis Pastoral-Blatt, October, 1917. 


"Since it is your wish and desire tluit I remain in 
Cliifa.<i-o until tlie return of Monseigneur Brute, this is my 
wish also and lor as long a time as it will be yours. Kindly 
send nic an Ordo as soon as they are printed. I will even 
make hold to ask you for u half dozen copies of the Pious 
Guide. Jf you could tind occasion to forward them to me. 
I shall say Masses ccording to ynui- intcutinns to dcfiay 
the expense. 

Should [Kev.] Mr. Lutz have a German grannnar to 
disjjose of in my favor I shall be infinitely obliged to him. 

Mr. Zender, whom you knew at the Barrens, has been 
here for some days.* He styles himself "doctor and phrenol- 
ogist distributing Phrenological diplomas, etc." It is probable 
tliat he \\ill shortly honor you with a visit. 

There is nothing of particular note or interest here for 
the jiresent. Chicago grows larger every day in an amazing 
manm'r. Land round Chicago is extravagantly high. Mr. 
Laframboise's house was reduced to ashes last week and it 
was only with great troul)le that they saved Mr. I'oilvin's 
wliich adjoined it.'^ " 

Though Father Ht. Cyr was in Chicago in September, 
1835, at the time of the departure of the Potawatomi 
Indians of Northwestern Illinois for their new home 
along the ]\Iissouri River, no mention of the incident 
is to be met with in his correspondence.^ And vet, with 
the migration westward of these Indians he lost a num- 
ber of his parishioners, mixed-bloods like the Lafram- 
boises, Ouilinettes, and Chevaliers, who had been identi- 
fied with St. Marv's clnirch from the day that the 

'The Seminary of the Lazarists, known as the "Barrens," 
was cstaljlislied near Perryvillc, Perry County, Missouri, in 1818. 

° St. Cyr a Rosati, November 2, 1835. 

"Father St. Cyr's letter of September 5, 1S3G, to Bishop 
Kosati <-()ntains a reference to a Potawatomi migration occurring 
at that period, very lik(>ly the one under Mr. Kereheval 's manage- 
ment. Sec infra, p. 91. 


Catholics of Chicago sent their historic petition to the 
Bishop of St. Louis. The withdrawal of the Indians 
from Chicago was marked by circumstances of a 
dramatic character. Possil)ly ^^dth a view to make a 
final display of their strength on ground that had been 
the scene of many of their past triumphs, they marched, 
one hot day in August, 1835, in procession through the 
streets of Chicago. Hideously j^ainted and clad in scanty 
raiment, they started from their rendezvous on the 
North Side, crossed to the West vSide on an old bridge 
over the North Branch, then crossed the ^Yest Branch 
on Anson's Tayor's bridge near Randolph Street and 
with fierce war-whoops and savage dancing proceeded 
along Lake Street to Fort Dearborn. From one of the 
upper windows of Mark Beaubien's hotel, the Sauga- 
nash. Dean Caton Avatehed this final demonstration of 
Indian tribal spirit in the streets of Chicago, after- 
wards putting on record the emotions of mingled fas- 
cination and alarm which the spectacle awakened in 
those who witnessed it.' 

The emigration of the Potawatomi to the "West took 
place in September. 1835, under the management of 
Colonel Russell. ^Moving across Illinois they took a 
southwest wardly route through Iowa and thus reached 
the triangular strip of land then claimed by the Sacs 
and Foxes and later known as the Platte Purchase.® 
Here they tarried for almost two years, not moving up 
into the lands guaranteed to them l)y the treaty of 1833 
until the middle of 1837. While still occupying the 
Platte Purchase, they were visited from the Kickapoo 

■ Catox, The Last of tlie Illinois and a SJcetch of the Pota- 
watomies in Fergus Historical Series, 3. 

^Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri [Conard] 5: 152; 
Babbitt, Early Days at Council Bluffs, 25, 26. 


^Mission by Father Charles Felix Van Quickenbonie, 
founder of the ^lissouri Province of the Society of 
Jesus, who. on January 29, 1837, baptized fourteen 
Indian children in the l*otawatomi camp opposite Fort 
Leavcnwoi'th. The first of the number baptized, 
Susanne, the six-month old dau^diter of Claude Lafram- 
boise and a Potawatomi woman, had AVilliam or as he 
was familiarly known in Chicajjo. "Billy" Caldwell, for 
godfather, w^ho also stood sponsoi" for two more of the 
children. Other sponsors on this occasion were Claude 
Laframboise, Toussaint Chevalier, Joseph Chevalier, 
Francis Bourbonet [Bourbonnois] and Michael Arcoit. 
Father Van Quiekenbornc was in fact dealing "\^^th a 
group of ex-residents of Chicago or its vicinity, some 
of w^hose names had appeared on the poll-book of the 
election of 1826, the first in the history of the city.'* 

During their occupancy of the Council Bluffs 
reservation (1837-1848) the Potawatomi were minis- 
tered to for a while by the Jesuits of ^Missouri, w'ho 
opened St. Joseph's Mission at Council Bluft's in re- 
sponse to a petition from the Indians signed at Fountain 
Blue on the ^Missouri River, September 12, 1837, by 
AVa-bon-su [Wa-pon-seh, AVaubansee] and fourteen of 
his fellow tribesmen.^° 

The familiar names of the Chicago half-breed Pota- 
watomi recur in the baptismal and marriage records of 
the Mission. ^^ On August 15, 1838, Father Peter De 

" The Kiclapoo Mission Bdiitisnidl licf/istcr rests in the ar- 
cliivos of St. Mary's College, St. Mary's, Kansas. 

'" Files of the Indian Bureau, "Washington. 

"These records are in the archives of St. Mary's College, St. 
Mary's, Kansas. At Council Bluffs the Jesuit missionary. Father 
De Smet, made the acquaintance of Billy Caldwell, to -vvhoni he 


Smet, the noted Indian missionary, performed two mar- 
riage ceremonies at Council Bluffs, the first recorded 
in the history of the place. The contracting parties 
were Pierre Chevalier and Kwi-wa-te-no-kwe and Louis 
M'ilmot [Ouilmette] and Marie AVa-wiet-mo-kwe. Janu- 
ary 2, 1839, the same priest married William Caldwell 
to Susanne Misnakwe. That chief again appears as god- 
father, this time to John Naakeze, baptized at the age 
approximately of 102 years by Father De Smet, De- 
cember 29, 1838. In 1848 the Council Bluffs Potawa- 
tomi were united with the Osage River branch of the 
tribe on a common reservation along the Kaw River in 
what is now the State of Kansas. Here they came under 
the spiritual care of the Jesuits of St. Mary's Mission. 
The baptismal, marriage and burial registers of that 
Mission frequently record the names of Beaubiens, 
Ouilmettes, Laframboises and other former Potawatomi 
mixed-bloods of Chicago and its vicinity. It is an in- 
teresting reflection that the Society of Jesus which gave 
Chicago its first priest in the person of Father Mar- 
quette and its first resident pastor in the person of 
the Miami missionary. Father Pinet, found itself for 
years the spiritual guardian of the Potawatomi Indians, 
the immediate predecessors of the whites in the occupa- 
tion of the Chicago terrain and a picturesque factor in 
the pioneer social life of the future metropolis. 

In the summer of 1836 Bishop Brute returned from 
his recruiting journey to Europe bringing with him a 

thus refers in a letter: ''Mr. C[aldwell] though far advanced 
in years seems to be a very worthy, honest man: he is well dis- 
posed towards us The chief [Caldwell] has given us pos- 
session of three cabins." Chittenden and RiciiAnDSON 's De 
Smet, 1: 157. 


number of French priests -wiiose services he had secured 
for his diocese. Of the number Avere Fathers Celestine 
de la Hailandiere and .Maurice de St. Palais, successors 
of Bishop Brute in the sec of Vincennes. In the arrival 
of these clerical reinforcements Father St. Cyr saw an 
opportunity to be relieved of his chities in Chicago and 
return to the St. Louis diocese. 

He wrote to Bishop Rosati July 15, 1836 : 

"I received a letter from Mons. Brute a few clays ago 
in which he gives me to understand that he will be at 
Vincennes towards the end of July. I beg you therefore, 
Monseigneur, to recall me to your diocese, as soon as he 
returns, or rather do you arrange the matter definitely with 
him; for I cannot remain any more as I am, deprived of 
everything, even of the succors of my religion, and not 
knowing to whom to have recourse in cases of necessity.'' 

In September, Father Bernard Schaeffer, a native 
of Strassl)urg in Alsace, one of Bishop Brute's clerical 
recruits, was in Chicago zealously co-operating in the 
ministry with Father St. Cyr, as we learn from a com- 
munication of the latter to Bishop Rosati under date 
of September 5, 1836: 

"To judge from your letter, it seems to be your wish 
that I remain in Chicago until Monseigneur Brute hiis anotlier 
priest to replace me. Nothing seems to me to be more reason- 
able ; at the same time I do not promise to remain at Chicago 
another year longer or even to spend the winter there in the 
situation in which I find myself at present. Be that as it 
nuiy, the alfairs of the church of Chicago are in such state 
tliat they allow of no further delay; they constrain me as a 
consecjuence to make a tiip to St. Louis and from there to 
Vincennes to confer about I hem with jNIonseigneur Brute. I 
leave the congregation until my return to the zealons care of 
Mr. Schaef(:er, a German priest, who has been here with me 
for some weeks and is destined for Chicago. 


I am bringing two sons of Mr. Deodat Taj'lor along 
■with me to the college of St. Louis; I hope to leave at the 
end of this week.^- 

I have said five Masses for the repose of the soul of 
Mr. Condamine. His death has greatly distressed me. All 
the Indians are here at Chicago. They are receiving their 
fmal pa^'ment and are going to journey towards the Mis- 
sissippi. Veteres migrate coloni et clulcia linquimus arva.^^ 
1 long to see you, Monseigneur, as well as Messrs. Lutz and 
Louis de Fontbonne." 

In January, 1837, Father St. Cyr conveyed to Bishop 
Rosati the surprising intelligence that the Catholics of 
Chicago were unable to support two resident priests : 

"I am writing you this letter to inform you of a situation 
which may api^ear to you to be somewhat strange; be this 
as it may, I hasten to make it known to you so as to have 
a decision from you in answer to this letter as soon as 
possible and thus know what I am to do under the circum- 

It is impossible for two priests to live here in Chicago 
without running into debt. Everything is extraordinarily 
dear, w^iile the majority of Catholics are poor and without 
means to suiDport their families. Hotel rates run from $15 
to $20 a month. I have myself up to the present time been 
paying $10 a month; and yet this appears to be a favor 
towards me from Mr. Medard Beaubien, with whom I have 
been boarding for more than a year, and to w^hom I owe a 
thousand sentiments of gratitude for all the kindnesses which 
he together with his wife have ever shown in my regard.^"* 

" Anson and Deodat, sons of Deodat Taylor of Chicago, were 
entered in the Mercantile Department of Saint Louis University 
in October, 1836. Deodat (Adeodatus) was baptized by Bishop 
Rosati in the University Chapel, January 14, 1838. 

" See supra, p. 86. The Latin which follows is a combination 
of disconnected lines from Virgil, to be translated, "migrate, old 
settlers, and, we leave behind these pleasant fields." 

" Medard or Madore Beaubien, son of Col. J. B. Beaubien, 


But for several reasons I shall be obliged to go and board 
elsewhere until ray departure. This puts me in the way of 
iiicuniiiK debts, while the Catholics, having learned that I 
am to quit Chicago, make a difficulty about contributing to 
the support of the priest. The result is that the uncertainty 
regarding the length of my stay in Chicago has been to me 
a constant source of trouble and anxiety, and the reason 
why I have so often lacked the most necessary things. 

.Mr. Schaeffer fuids himself almost in the same situation 
as myself. He declared to me positively yesterday evening 
that, in view of the circumstances, one of us two ought 
absolutely to go and start another parish either on the 
canal or some place else, a thing impossible just now seeing 
that we have only a single chalice and a single missal. i'' I 

followed his Potawatomi relatives to the Kaw River R(>servc. He 
gave the land on wliieli the town of Silver Lake, in Shawnee 
County, was laid out, and was three times mayor of the town. 
Silver Lake is twelve miles east of St. Mary's, one-time site of 
the well-known Catholic Potawatomi Mission. Madore, Beaubien 
and Theresa Streets in Silver Lake, the last named for Madore 's 
wife, preserve the memory of this one-time influential citizen of 
Chicago. Sec Emma Cowes Richerter, A History of Silver Lalce, 
Kansas, p. 5. Medard Beaubien had "tlie reputation of ])eing 

tlie handsomest man that was ever in this city He gave 

as reason for abandoning Chicago, where lie was a merchant, that 
lie would rather be a big Indian than a little white man." — Hon. 
John Wentworth in the Chicago Times, May 8, 1876. 

^'^ The construction of the Michigan and Hlinois Canal was 
authorized in 1835 by a bill of the Illinois State Legislature. 
The project was meant to provide a Lakes-to-the-Gulf waterway 
by connecting Lake Michigan and tlie Chicago River witli tlie 
Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. ' ' The contractors who had tlie 
work in hand, sent circulars to all the seaports of the United 
States and the Canadas, which were distril)uted among the emi- 
grants, wlio wcie at this time coming in multitudes to America. 
Tliousands started westward to find ready work and it is a 
noticeable fact that the majority were from Ireland, as the tide 
of emigration from the Green Isle to America set in at tliis 
time." McGovERN, The Catholic Church in Chicago, p. 14. 


told him tliereupon that I would write to you and do every- 
thing I possibly could to hasten my departure, already desired 
so long a while back and yet repeatedly delayed or put off. 
I shall leave with all the more pleasure that Mr. Sehaeffer 
can now preach in English and hear confessions much better 
than I could the first time I came to Chicago. 

I beg you, Monseigneur, to take this matter under con- 
sideration. I beg you also to tell me, if it be possible, what 
will be the location of my second mission so I can have the 
newspapers I receive at Chicago sent to that address ; tell 
me too, what English books from my library, such as I can 
easily procure for myself elsewhere, I may leave with Mr. 
Sehaeffer, who has almost no books at all. 

I am going to write directly on this matter to Monseigneur 
Brute, as wdl also Mr. Sehaeffer. We have not yet received 
the Ordo. I do not know whether it is to you, Monseigneur, 
that I ought to apply for it or to Monseigneur Brute. If you 
could send me a copy, I will discharge Mass intentions, as 
far as will be necessary." 

The representations made by Father St. Cyr in the 
preceding letter were not without effect. He was at last 
definitely recalled to the diocese of St. Louis, as he in- 
timates in a communication to Bishop Rosati, ]\Iarch 4, 

"I received your letter of rel)ruary 23 today. I hasten 
to answer it and to let you know that I shall do every thing 
in my power to follow out your orders despite great difficulties 
in the way. If I cannot go on to St. Louis before Holy Week 
as you desire me to do, it will not be through any lack of 
good will on my part, but because circumstances will not 
allow it. 

It is with considerable pain, Monseigneur, that I see 
myself forced to sell a portion of my books to pay part of 
my travelling expenses, and even so, I shall be obliged to 
borrow money, but from whom I do not know. 

When I went to Vincennes, I did everything in my power 
to get a chalice and missal for Mr. Sehaeffer. But all my 


efforts were in vain, so that you will not take it amiss, ]\Ion- 
soii;ueui-, if I leave the chalice and missal witli Mr. Scliacfl'er. 
He will return them as soon as he can procure others in their 
place. Sacrifice on sacrifice." 

Two weeks later Father St. Cyr ayaiii achlresst'd 
Bishop Rosati, declaring in emphatic terms his willing- 
ness to remain in Chicago should the Bishop judge tliat 
the good of souls demanded this arrangement. 

St. Cyr to .ij; f^pi certain that you received my letter, which was 

f/*"*^',oo. an answer to vour own of Februarv 23, and which notified 

March, lS"t ■ . , , • Oi t ■ i- u i a\' i- 

you that you might expect me m iSt. Louis lor xioly \\ eeK, 

if nothing untoward occurred. However, in spite of my good 
intentions, I have been unable to realize my own wishes or 
to comply v.ith yours. The news of my departure coming at 
the very moment when a large number were making ready to 
fulfill their religious duties fell like a thunderstroke on the 
whole congregation, many of whom wnll be unable to receive 
the sacraments supposing that I leave next week as I had 
intended to do in order to be able to reach St. Louis by 
Holy Week. Hence, Monseigneur, to avoid inconvenience and 
quiet the people a little I have tliought it my duty to defer 
my departure until after Easter Sunday. I have heard some 
talk of a petition which they have sent you to prevail upon 
you to leave me in Chicago. 

As to myself, Monseigneur, my whole desire is to do the 
holy will of God, to go and remain where e\-er the glory of 
God and the salvation of souls should call lue through the 
voice of my superiors, firmly persuaded as 1 am that nihil mi hi 
deerit in loco pasciiae ubi me collocavit [nothing will be 
wanting to me in the place of pasture where He hath set 
me]. If then, Monseigneur, you think it God's holy will that I 
establish myself definitely in Cliicago or its neigliborhood. say 
so boldly, and despite the difficulties that start up on every 
side, I am ready to obey and submit my will to yours, to 
embrace with my whole heart this mission of Chicago and 
share with my worthy confrere, :\[r. Schaeffer, its hardships 
and merits. 


If, on the other hand, you think it God's will that I return 
to your diocese, then, cost what it may, I will tear myself 
away from the midst of my flock and away from my first- 
born, I will obey and go whithersoever I am sent in the 
firm conviction that vir obediens loquetur victorias [the 
obedient man will speak of victories]. 

For the rest I will leave everything to your decision ; 
what you tell me to do, I will do. 

Mr. Schaeffer is just now indisposed as a consequence 
of an attack of headache which he experiences almost regu- 
larly every month and which torments him severely for the 
space of forty-eight hours. 

Yesterday the outskirts of Chicago and Chicago itself 
were entirely covered with ice and snow. Today everything 
is flooded for at this moment the rain is coming down in 
torrents. The roads and streets of Chicago are impassible.'' 

The news that Father St. Cyr had been recalled to Pennon of 

„ r( T • ' Chicago 

his own diocese oi bt. Louis came as a shock to the catJwUcs 
Catholics of Chicago. Eager to retain the services of 
this zealous priest, they addressed a memorial on the 
subject to Bishop Rosati. It is a noteworthy testimony 
to the esteem in which Father St. Cyr was held by his 
Chicago parishioners, and deserves to be here reproduced 
in extenso : 

"To the Rt. Revd. Doctor Rosati, St. Louis: 

"The undersigned Roman Catholic inhabitants of the 
town of Chicago have heard with the deepest regret that 
you have recalled the Revd. Mr. St. Cyr from this Mission 
and as such an event would in their opinion be productive of 
injurious consequences to the cause of Catholic truth in this 
l^lace, they humbly beg leave to call your attention to the 
actual situation of our people in this Mission and request 
that you will carefully consider all the circumstances previous 
to such removal. 

They would in the first place inform your Grace that 
the Revd. Mr. St. Cyr by his exemplary conduct, great zeal 


in the cause of religion and incessant perseverance has en- 
deared himself to everj' member of our congregation and is 
highly esteemed by the members of other denominations, and 
having acquired a sufficient knowledge of the English language 
to enable him to preach and instruct with fluency and elo- 
([uence, they conceive that his removal would l)e a subject of 
bereavement to the whole congregation. 

That his associate Rev. Mr. Sehaeffer although e(|ually 
distinguished for piety and zeal has but an impei'fect knowl- 
edge of the English language and is consequently unfitted for 
discharging the spiritual duties of a pastor among an English 

That we have in this town two thousand and perhaps 
more Catholics as there are a large number of Catholic 
families in the adjacent country particularly on the line of 
the Chicago and Illinois canal, the great body of labourers 
on w'hieh are Catholics, to all of whom the clergy here must 
render spiritual assistance. The attention therefore of a 
clergyman speaking the English language will be indispens- 
ably necessary and they would humbly represent that nothing 
but tlie most urgent necessity should induce the removal of a 
man from such a vast field of lal^or who is so beloved and 
revei'ed by his congregation. 

That as our church is totally inadetjuate to contain the 
fourth part of the attending congregation, we have taken 
the preliminary steps to erect a new chapel capable of ac- 
commodating our large and increasing society. The removal 
of the Kevd. Mr, St. Cyr will operate to retard and delay 
the work so much desired not only by Catholics but l)y various 
members of other denominations. 

That as this is the most impditant place in tlie State, as 
the population is so rapidly increasing that we can in a few 
years justly expect a Catholic population of several thousand 
and as one clergyman cannot possibly discharge the duties 
annexed to it, good policy as well as duty require that we 
should have clergymen stationed here capable by their example 
of inspiring respect, by their talents of dissipating ignorance 
and prejudice and by their zeal and perseverance of building 


up in this new region the imperishable monuments of our 
holy religion. 

"We therefore huml)ly entreat your Grace not to deprive 
us of a dearly beloved i^astor at the commencement of his 
usefulness, but to leave him where his zeal and virtues are 
so well appreciated and so likely to respond to the best in- 
terests of the church. ^"^ " 

The efforts of the Catholics of Chicago to retain the 
services of Father St. Cyr were not successful. He 
left Chicago for St. Louis, April 17, 1837, and in the 
following June was assigned by Bishop Rosati to the 
mission of Quincy, Illinois, from which place he made 
periodical excursions to the Catholics of the neighboring 

^^ St. Louis Archdiocesan Archives. 

" Father St. Cyr 's baptismal, marriage and burial records, 
all contained in one register now resting in the parish archives 
of St. Mary's Church, Chicago, afford authentic information of 
his ministerial activities during his stay in Chicago. On May 22, 
1833, he baptized George, son of Mark Beaubien and Monique 
Nadeau. This, as far as can be ascertained, is the tirst adminis- 
tration of the sacrament in Chicago attested by documentary evi- 
dence. Among the baptisms subsequently conferred by Father 
St. Cyr in Chicago were the following: 

June 5, 1833, Caroline, daughter of Jean Baptiste Beaubien 
and Josette Laframboise. Godparents: John Whistler and 
Esther Bailly. 

June 5, 1833, Marguerite, daughter of Solomon Juneau and 
Josette Vieau. (Solomon Juneau was the founder of Milwaukee.) 

June 17, 1833, Francis, son of Francis Bourbonnois and Ho- 
setta Asham of Ottaway (Ottawa). 

August 30, 1833, Francois, son of Joseph Laframboise and 
Jacquet Peltier. Godparents: Mark Beaubien and Josette La- 

June 28, 1834, Joseph, sou of John Welsh and Marie Louise 
Wimette. (This is the tirst person of Irish extraction whose 
baptism is recorded in Chicago.) Marie Wimette (Ouilmette) 


BruU's If l]^^^, services of Father St. Cyr Averc thus lost to 

to Retain 1 he Catholics of Chicago, it was not for lack of repeated 

at. Cyr 

was a daughter of Louis Ouilmotto. According to the Fcrgxts 
Jlistorical Scries, 7: 56, art. "Chicago Marriages Recorded in 
Peoria Co.," John B. Beaubien on May 11, 1830, married Michael 
Welch or Welsh and Elizabeth Ouilmette. 

"He was our first [?] Irishman and his wife was tlic (hui;^!!- 
tcr of Antoine Ouilmette of Ouilni(>tte's reservation in tliis 
county. ' ' 

Among the signers of the 1833 peiition of the Catholics of 
Chicago was Patiick Walsh. See Illinois Catholic Jlisiorical Ee- 
ricic, 2: 4()7, for infoimalion concerning these early Welshes or 
Walshes of Chicago and their claim to be considered the first 
Irishmen in the city. 

June 28, 1834. Josette Beaubien, wife of Jean Baptiste 
Beaul)i(>n. (Josette Laframboise, wife of Colonel Beaubien, was 
of mixed French and Ottawa blood.) 

June 28, 1834. Alexander, son of Jean Baptiste Beaubien 
and Josette Laframboise. 

December 22, 1834. Robert Jerome Beaubien, son of Jean 
Baptiste Beaubien. Godparents: Robert Kinzie and Gwenthalin 

August 25, 1835. Abram [?] Schwartz, son of 

Schwartz and Marie Belbare [?]. (The handwriting of this 
entry is difiicult to decipher. Schwartz is the first German name 
occurring in the register.) 

Totaling up Father St. Cyr's baptisms in Chicago, we find 
them to number 19 in 1833, 12 in 1834, 14 in 1835, 36 in 1836, 
and 12 in 1837. His last baptismal entry is dated March 19, 1837. 
Father Schaefifer's baptisms, as entered in the St. Mary's Rig- 
ister, range from September 5, 1836, to July 24,1837. They 
include five administered on the same day, April 20, 1837, in 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I?aptized on this occasion by Father 
Schaeffer were Matilda, daughter of Solomon Juneau and Josette 
Vieau, and "Margaret Klark, sixteen years of age, born amongst 
the Indians." These Milwaukee baptisms appear to be the earli- 
est on record for that city. 

Father St. Cvr's second marriage in Chicagft bears date 


efforts on Bishop Brute's part to retain him for his 

diocese. The latter wrote to Bishop Rosati, March 11, 

March — , 1835, when he married Mark Bourassa, son of Daniel 
Bourassa, and Josette Chevalier, daughter of Louis Chevalier, and 
' ' gave them the nuptial benediction in the Catholic Church of 
Chicago." His first marriage in the city dated 1834, month and 
day not recorded, appears to have ])een that of N. Murphy and 
Mrs. M. Frauner(?). 

Father St. Cyr officiated at only twelve burials during his 
pastoi-ate at St. Mary's. In June, 1834, was buried "one of the 
daughters of Mr. Colewell [Caldwell] agent of the Indians." In 
July of the same year, day of the month unrecorded, was buried 
Mr. Braner [Brennan?] "recently arrived from Ireland," who 
died suddenly and was interred ' ' according to the rites of the 
Catholic Church." 

For access to Father Cyr's Register the writer is indebted 
to the courtesy of the Paulist Fathers in charge of St. Mary's 
Church, Chicago. 

Father St. Cyr died February 21, 1883, at Nazareth Convent, 
a house of the Sisters of St. Joseph, a short distance beyond the 
southern limits of St. Louis, Missouri. A sketch of his life after 
he left Chicago may be read in Zurbonsen, In Memoriam, a Cler- 
ical Bead Boll of the Diocese of Alton, Illinois. Data concern- 
ing the missionary activities of Father St. Cyr outside of Chicago 
will be found in the Illinois CatJiolic Historical Bevieiv, July, 
1920, art. "Northwestern Part of the Diocese of St. Louis," by 
Rev. John Rothensteiner, who draws this interesting picture of 
Father St. Cyr: "It was in 1878 that I, as a seminary student, 
visited the blind old man, the last link then connecting the heroic 
days of Bishop DuBourg and Rosati with the living, progressive 
present, in his retreat at Nazareth Convent. He was a man of 
small stature, with hands and face of translucent whiteness, as 
of pure wax. Being unable to read the Ordinary of the Mass, he 
was permitted to say the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin every 

63434 \ 


"I fear it is too late and quite impossible to request tliat 

Mr. St. Cyr protract his stay a little while longer and 

yet, see how many priests you have, my good Bisliop — aready 
51 and 4 more whom you are going to ordain. As to the 
chalice which he has in Chicago, if Mr. Lalumiere has not 
got back those that were sent to St. Louis to be gilded, you 
might keep one of them and Mr. St. Cyr could leave his own 
in Chicago." 

In two letters addressed in May of the same year to 
the Bisliop of St. Louis, Brute reveals how keenly he 
felt over the situation in Chicago where Father Schacffer 
was left to minister single-handed to the Catholic popu- 
lation now going forward by leaps and bounds. 

"I have not been urging you earnestly enough or with 
confidence enough in our Divine Master to acquiesce in 
Mr. St. Cyr's wishes and my own, at least for a few montlis 
longer. I am so sick I do not think I am in a condition to 
go to Chicago to see my worthy Mr. Schaeffer. I( has ])eeu 
a great consolation to me to see them [Messrs. St. Cyr and 
Schaeffer] so ready to help each other — and you have seen 
from St. Cyr's detailed letter that the care of 2000 Catholics 
is in question. "What hope them for Dubuque and the whole 

of Northern Illinois and Wisconsin Territory Be so 

good as to take this last remark into consideration — do it, 
I implore you, well-beloved and venerated colleague, not 
for me but for the great common cause. I believe that this 
provisional arrangement, even after all thi' Javois you have 
already granted, will be blessed of God, as He has blessed 
it in the past, for you have already doubled the number of 
clergy in your diocese since 1834, when on second tliought 
vou agreed to send Mr. St. Cvr back to Chicago. 

day. And I was told he did so regularly witli the assistance of 
another priest. Little did I know then of tlic importance of this 
feeble old man in his earlier days; but his presence impressed me 
as that of a saint, the bright sun of whose soul was breaking 
throuffh the tlnn veil of the bodv containing it." 


Since my retui'ii I hear notbiug sijoken about except 
emigrants and the cry for priests that goes up on every 
side. What shall we do, especially as our French priests are, 
many of them at least, still quite too weak in English? And 
as for German priests — alas ! Where shall we find them ? It 
is heart-breaking. I should think it necessary, the need is so 
pressing, that we write to the Bisbojis of Ireland or Germany. 
I intend to write at least to Keane, the Vice-President of the 
Irish Seminary. How I tremble to think in this situation, 
which must be the same for yourself, that you do not grant 
me the extension of time which Mr. St. Cyr himself solicits, 
and which Avould be so capital a thing for the North — for 
Wisconsin even and that soon, if only Chicago be given time 
to get her strength. At any rate, I have ventured to entreat 
you again in a letter which you will have found in Cincinnati. 
Ah! Monseigneur, grant me all you possibly can. I have no 
second priest to send to Mr. Schaeffer for those 2000, perhajDS 
at present 3000 Catholics, so amazing a thing is this deluge 
of Catliolic emigration.^® " 

By July Bishop Brute felt that he must acquiesce 
in the loss of Father St. Cyr, "that great favor con- 
ferred by the diocese of St. Louis on our own"; but 
he was deeply grateful to the Bishop of Saint Louis for 
having been permitted to retain so long the services of 
that zealous priest : 

"Nothing remains for me, Monseigneur but to thank you 
with the fullest outpouring of my heart for all the good which 

"Brute a Rosati, May 7, 1837; May 19, 3839. Though still 
without an adequate supply of priests, the diocese of Vincennes 
showed considerable growth during the period 1834-37. "As to 
Missionaries, instead of the total of 2 (Fathers Lalumiere and 
Badin) which appeared in the almanac of 1835 and which aston- 
ished the Holy Father himself, behold us now sixteen priests and 
we shall be eighteen when you read these lines." Letter of 
Brute, May 24, 1837, in the Annates de la Propagation dc la Foi, 
10: 159. 


]\lr. St. ("yr has done in Chicago during the protracted staj' 
you have accorded him, nor can I murmur in any wise against 
his recall. I bless, too, this excellent priest and shall never 
think of him before God other than as the pastor of a ])arish 
whicli he has in very truth created and where I hope his 
nu'inory will continue long to encourage this new Hock to 
prcscrw and his successor to enlarge still further the great 
aiiioniif of initial good that lias been accoinplislieil."!" 

Father Sehaeffer did not long survive the departure 
of Father St. Cyr from Chiacgo. "I announce with 
grief," wrote Bishop Brute to the Leopoldine Associa- 
tion of Vienna, "that I have lost one of my excellent 
fellow-workers by death. ]\Ir. Sehaeffer of Strassburg, 
who accompanied me to America, whom I sent to the 
]\Iission of Chicago immediately after my arrival and 
who preached in French and English as also in German, 
and by his exceeding zeal in the service of souls had 
won the love of all, died to our great sorrow on October 
2, [1837], feast of the Guardian Angels. "-° Father 
Sehaeffer 's last entry in the baptismal record of St. 
Mary's parish is dated July 24, 1837. Six days later, 
July 30, the name of Father Bernard O'Meara appears 

^^ Brute a Rosati, July 9, 1837. 

■"Bcrichtc dcr Lcopoldincn Stiftung, 22, 1839. Father Mar- 
tin I\ini(]i<,f, well known for his early missionary labors in Michi- 
gan and Wisconsin, occasionally officiated in Chicago at tliis 
period. ''We are requested to state that the Rev. Mr. Kundig 
will d(>liver an address on Sunday evening at Russell's Saloon." 
Tlie Chicago American, April 27, 1837. Russell's saloon, at the 
southwest corner of Lake and Clark Streets, was a meeting-hall 
and not a dispensing-place for liquor, as the conventional mean- 
ing of the term would lead one to infer. In it took place, Stephen 
A. Douglas being one of the participants, the first political debate 
ever held in Noithern Illinois. 


for the first time in the same register.-^ The following 
year, 1838, Bishop l>rute made a canonical visitation 
of Chicago, of which he gives a brief account in his 
halting English in a letter to Mother Rose of Emmits- 
burg. The letter is dated St. Rose's Day, August 30: 

Chicago, one hundred and fifty miles north of Vincennes 
on the Lake Michigan, southwest corner; a city of seven or 
eight thousand, — largest in the diocese. Alas ! so small a 
wooden church where I have just celebrated the Divine Sacri- 
fice, though we have near a thousand Catholics, they tell me; 
— one priest, Mr. O'Meara, — I had a second, Mr. Schaeft'er, 
our Lord recalled him to heaven, I hope. 

Arrived yesterday night from the line of the works of 
the Illinois canal. I will spend till Sunday here planning and 
devising for my successors. Also, so little of genius at plans ! 
— unless our Lord himself pity such an immense ''avenir" that 
I know not how" to Ijegin Avell ! 

I dream of Sisters here! — but how so? Col. Beaubien 
offers lots, etc. Very well — but Sisters"? 

A small wooden church, not sufficient for the fourth part 
on Sunday; and yet most, (as visual) of our Catholics are of 
the i^oorest; and the few better off, (as usual too, in our West) 
so eagerly busy at the great business of this West, growing 
rich, richer, richest ; — too little ready, when the talk is only 
of lots, interest and estate in Heaven; or of placing in its 
Bank on earth, by hands of the Church, and that poor Bishop, 
the cashier of said Bank, in this part of the world, who 
could sign bills of millions of eternal acquittal, etc., etc. 
Well Mother! tell me how I w^ll succeed to spirit our busy 
Chicago to build a good, large brick church. Another man, — 
yes, some proper man might succeed, not this unworthy 

But enough! I must go to meet Mr. O'Meara, and devise 
plans. I would take more pleasure to speak of the shanties 

=^ " I have sent an assistant to Mr. Sehaoffer, Mr. O 'Meara, 
an Irish priest, who came to join us a short time ago." Brute a 
Rosati, June 29, 1837. 



whore I liavo liveil. ami have done some duty these few days 
past ; but now I am in the eit}', and owe myself as well to the 
city as to the shanties.-- " 

Death of ^Vithin a year of this visit to Chicago, Bishop Brute 

^rfj' t^ied in Vincenncs on June 2G. 1839, at the age of sixty. 
His death was due to pulmonary consumption, which 
developed from a cold he contracted while riding on 
the outside of a stage-coach iji Ohio on his way to the 
Provincial Council of Baltimore of 1837. To the priest 
who attended him he remarked the morning of the day 
before he died, "My dear child, I have the whole day 
yet to stay with you, to-morroAv with God. "-^ With 
characteristic zeal and energy he wrote with his own 
hands six hours before his death a number of letters 
to persons whom he longed to reclaim to a better life. 
Rare piety of soul and a very exceptional range of 
learning, secular as well as sacred, helped to lend dis- 
tinction to the personality of Bishop Brute. Bishop 
Quarter, his pupil at the Emmitsburg Seminary, de- 
clared that he had never known a more tender piety 
than that exhibited by his beloved professor. As a 
theologian and master of ecclesiastical lore and as an 
uncommonly enlightened and inspiring guide in things 
of the spirit, his reputation was high in church circles 
throughout the land and many eagerly sought his 
advice. A considerable body of his private correspond- 
ence, for he was a prolific letter-writer, is still preserved 
in various ecclesiastical archives throughout the country, 

" Aiuerican Catholic Historical Bcscarclics, April, 1898. On 
the occasion of this visit to Chicago Bishop Brute baptized, Sep- 
tember 2, 1838, Gwenthlean Harriot Kinzie, daughter of Robert 
Kinzie and Gwenthlean Harriet Whistler. 

■^ Bayley, Memories of Bishoj^ Brute, p. 85. 


giving reason to hope that an adequate biography of 
this remarkable churchman will some day be given to 
the world.-* 

For the Catholics of Chicago it may be a subject 
of solemn pride that the first rude beginnings of the 
church in their great metropolis felt for a while the 
.shaping hand of the saintly first Bishop of Vincennes; 
just as for the Catholics of St. Louis it wall be gratify- 
ing to recall that the progress made by the church in 
the Northern city during that prelate's administration 
w^as due in large measure to the zealous ministry of 
Father St. Cyr, "that great favor" in Bishop Bimte's 
own words, ''conferred by the diocese of St. Louis on 
our own." 

The Rt. Reverend Celestine Rene Guy de la Hailan- ^^^'^ 


diere succeeded Bishop Brute as incumbent of the see second Bishop 
of Vincennes. At the outset of his episcopate there de- of vincennes 
volved upon him the painful duty of attempting to 
heal a schism in the Catholic congregation of Chicago 
due to the independent and refractory course of action 

^* Hassaed, Life of ArchMshop Hughes, p. 73. See suijra, p. 75. 
Bishop Brute was deeply interested in the early church history of 
the Mississippi Valley and over the signature, ''Vincennes," pub- 
lished in the Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati a series of letters 
in which in his own words, "the ancient labors of the Society of 
Jesus in this region, from the Lakes to the Mississippi, were de- 
scribed." In an unpublished letter written to Father Elet, S. J., 
President of Saint Louis University, he makes the suggestion that 
the site of the old Jesuit Mission at Peoria, Illinois, be marked 
with a permanent memorial before all traces of it be lost to his- 
tory. Eight letters from Bishop Brute, descriptive of conditions 
in his diocese, appeared in the Berichte der Leopoldinen-Stiftung 
Im Kaiserthume Oestereich during the period 1837-1840. 



Maurice de 
St. Palais, 
Pastor at 

pursued by its pastor, Father O'Meara, the sole priest 
in Chicago after the death of Father Sehaeft'er. 

In December, 1839, Father Maurice de St. Palais 
left Yincennes for Chicago in company with Father 
Du Pontavice, who had been named pastor of Joliet, 
the pair travelling in a spring-wagon."^ As Father 
O'Meara continued to hold possession of the old church, 
which he had caused to be moved from its original site 
on Lake Street to the north side of Madison Street 
some yards w^est of Michigan Avenue, St. Palais had 
to conduct services in an upper room of a building at 
the northwest corner of AVells and Randolph Streets.-® 
On June 27, 1840 Father O'Meara tendered in wa-iting 
to Bishop Plailandiere his resignation as ''pastor of the 
congregation of the Catholic Church in the city of 
Chicago."-^ He continued, however, to exercise the 
ministry independently of the Bishop and against his 
prohibition until Father St. Cyr, who went to Chicago 
for the purpose, prevailed upon him to retire from the 
active ministry. Hi.s last baptism, all his ministrations 

-° Alerpixg, History of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of 
Vincennes, 171, 491. 

-«Tlie Neiv World (Chicago), April 14, 1900. The h)t at tlic 
northwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Madison Street, pur- 
cliascd by Father O'Meara from the Government, June 21, 1839, 
for $262, was sold by Archbishop Mundelein, January 24, 1920, 
for $500,000. It had been leased in 1900 to Montgomery Ward 
& Co., who erected on it the Tower Building, one of Chicago's 
most conspicuous sky-scrapers. Shortly after purchasing the 
property, Father O'Meara was given a quit-claim by Col. J. B. 
Beaubien, in whose famous controverted tract the property was 
included. In June, 1840, Father O'Meara ceded the property to 
the Bishop of Vincennes. 

-' Chicago Daily American, Xovember 110, 1840. 

Rt. Rev. Maurice de St. Palais, fourth Bishop of Viucemies, 
184:9-1877. As Father de St. Palais, he was resident pastor at 
Chicago, 1840-1844. 


of the sacrament having been entered by him with 
scrupulous accuracy in the parish records, is dated 
August 12, 1841. Adjoining the old church was the parish 
rectory, a one-story cottage of frame, w^hich faced east, 
being number 115 ^Michigan Avenue. Here Father de St. 
Palais took up his residence and here lived the Catholic 
Bishops of Chicago until the erection by Bishop 'Regan 
of a handsome episcopal residence on the same site. 
Finding the old church, "a long low frame building," 
utterly inadequate. Father de St. Palais undertook the 
erection of a new church, one hundred feet by fifty-five, 
on property acquired by him at the southwest corner of 
Wabash Avenue and Madison Street. Though in an 
unfinished state, it was opened for service on Christmas 
Day, 1843. Father de St. Palais was also the purchaser 
of ten acres of land for a cemetery at w^hat is now the 
intersection of State Street and North Avenue, a point 
then beyond the city limits.'^ The rapidly growing pop- 
ulation of Chicago added ever to the labors of his 
ministry, in which he had the zealous co-operation of 
Father Francis Fischer for the German portion of the 
flock. They were the only priests officiating in the city 
w^hen Bishop Quarter arrived, on May 3, 1844, to take 
possession of his episcopal see. 

-* The first Catholic l)urial ground in Chicago was near Chi- 
cago Avenue, east of Clark Street. Here the town authorities 
purchased ten acres in 1833, alloting the southern half to the 
Catholics and the northern half to the Protestants. Andreas, 
History of Chicago, 2: 448. 



The Fifth Provincial Council of Baltimore having 
recommended to the Holy See the establishment of 
several new dioceses, among them that of Chicago, 
Gregory XVI issued a brief September 30, 1843, erecting 
the diocese of Chicago with the entire state of Illinois 
as territory and appointing Reverend William J. 
Quarter, pastor of St. Mary's Church, New York, in- 
cumbent of the new see.' A native of Killurine, King's 
County, Ireland, where he was born January 24, 1806, 
Father Quarter had come to America as a young man, 
made his ecclesiastical studies at Mount St. Mary's, 
Emmits])urg, :\Iaryland. where he had the saintly Brute 
among his professors, Avas ordained by Bishop Dubois 
and was subsequently curate at historic St. Peter's 
church. New York, and pastor of St. :\Iary's church in 
the same city. Together with Bishop Byrne of Little 
Rock and Bishop :\lcCloskey, the future cardinal, he 

^ Practically all available biographical data regarding Bishop 
Quarter are to be found in Shea, History of the Catholic Church 
in the United States; Clark, Deceased Bishops of the Uvitrd 
States, and McGovern, Eistory of the Catholic Church in Chi- 
cago. The last-named -work contains in reprint the sketch of the 
Bishop written by his physician and intimate friend, Dr. McGirr, 
a sketch reissue.l by the press of St. Mary's Training School, 
Desplaines, Illinois, on the occasion of the diamond jubilee of the 
archdiocese of Chicago, June, 1920. 


Et. Rev. William J. Quarter, first Bishop of Chicago, 1844- 
1848. The founder of Catholic education in Chicago. The first 
Catholic University, Saint Mary of the Lake, the first Catholic 
High-School, Saint Xavier's, and the first Catholic parish-school 
of the city owe their origin to him. He was born in Ireland in 
1806, labored in the ministry with unremitting zeal as pastor in 
New York City and afterwards as chief pastor in Chicago, where 
after four years of distinguished service rendered to the new 
diocese entrusted to his care he died at the early age of forty- 


A8TOK. I-K*'0 


was consecrated March 10, 1844, in the Cathedral of 
New York at the hands of Bishop Hughes. 

Accompanied by his brother, Rev. Walter J. Quarter, ^^'^^"p 

i- ^ ' _ Quarter 

Bishop Quarter arrived in Chicago on Sunday morning, arrives in 
May 5, 1844. That same morning he said IVIass in the CMcago 
old church, "a long, low frame building having a small 
steeple and surmounted l)y a cross," and preached in 
the new St. Mary's at 10:30 o'clock Mass. The new 
church of brick "a respectable building," so Bishop 
Quarter descriljes it, was destined to be the cathedral 
of the diocese until its destruction in the great Chicago 
fire of 1871. It was still unplastered at the time of the 
Bishop's arrival and a temporary altar was set up 
against the western wall. 

From the very first the view he took of the outlook 
for Catholicism both in Chicago and the diocese gener- 
ally was frankly optimistic. 

"I am happy to inform you," he writes to Bishop Purcell 
of Cincinnati in the September following his arrival in the 
West, "that a spirit of great liberality exists towards Catholics 
in all parts of this state and in the city a word exasperating 
or painful to the feelings of Catholics I have never heard 
uttered. Indeed, the citizens appear all like the members of 
one united and well organized family where each one consults 
for the benefit and advantage of all. 

I have already visited a large portion of the diocese and 
the prospects everywhere are, I think, bright for Catholicity. 
In almost every part of the state there are Catholics settled 
and although they are poor, yet they are willing to contribute 
of their scanty means towards the support of their church and 
clergyman. The greatest privation they have in many places 
to endure is that of clergymen to administer to their spiritual 
wants. There are at present 22 or [2] 3 priests engaged in the 


'missions, but how sinall is tlial iinnilicr coniiiariMl \\itli the 
population (if 50 or (ill, 0(10 that they ha\r to attcml. In one 
or two years 100 oi- moiv cU-i-uyMicn can l)c actively cniiaged 
in those missions.- " 

A period of scarcely four j-ears was to roniid out the 
career of Bishop Quarter as first inciiinbent of llie 
episcopal see of Chicago; but within that narrow span 
he w^as to achieve a bi-illiant record of apostolic zeal 
and enterprise for the upbuilding of the diocese. Cath- 
olicity all through Illinois, but especially in Chicago, 
awakened to a new life at the touch of his swift and 
splendid energy. A great quantity of debts confronted 
him on his arrival in the city; three thousand dollars 
on the unfinished cathedral, five hundred on the adjoin- 
ing property purchased by Father de St. Palais and 
three hundred on the gi-aveyard. Here were almost 
four thousand dollars of del)t, an obligation insig- 
nificant enough according to present-day standards, 
but vei-y disconcerting in those days of almost uni- 
versal poverty among the Catholic immigrants, espe- 
cially as much of that debt w^as bearing interest as 
high as 12 and 15 per cent. To liquidate these 
debts liishop Quarter bent every effort from his first 
ai-rival in the diocese and before his untimely decease 
many if not all of the obligalions had l)eon lil'lcd. "We 
are indeed very poor here and I shall have to struggle 
hard for some time," he informed Father Carrell, 
President of St. Louis University, a few months aftei- 
his arrival in Chicago.^ 

- Quarter to Purccll, Septeiiil)Or 2, 1844, Catholic Archives of 
America, Notre Dame University. 

" Quarter to Carrell, July 30. 1S44, St. Louis University 

iv a-ty ■ ''^■s'iKii jT'^-Vrl^^'iTji" 

Saint Mary's Cathedral, ercototl liy Father Maurice de 8t. Palais on 
ground purchased by him at the southwest corner of Madison Street and 
Wabash Avenue. One hundred by fifty-five feet, the' length being along 
Madison Street. Opened for divine ser^■ices Christmas Day, 1843, and 
dedicated by Bishop Quarter the first Monday of October, 1845. 


More pressing even than the question of debts was 
the question of an adequate number of priests for the 
needs of the diocese. Fathers de St. Palais and Fischer, 
the only Catholic clergymen in Chicago when the Bishop 
took possession of his see in 1844, were recalled to their 
diocese of Vincennes the next month and left Chicago, 
where they had done excellent work, the following 
August. But, within a few months of his arrival in 
the city he had ordained five priests, Fathers McMahan, 
McGorisk, Kinsella, Brady and Ingoldsby and was soon 
receiving clerical reinforcements from other dioceses. 
Step by step Bishop Quarter proceeded to organize his 
diocese and to insure to his clergy the helps calculated 
to maintain their ministry at a high standard of effi- 
ciency and zeal. In April, 1847, he convened a diocesan 
synod in the new Seminary building which was pre- 
ceded by a "spiritual retreat" of three days conducted 
by Father Francis De Maria, S. J., professor of theology 
in St. Louis University. Thirty-two priests were in 
attendance, while nine were excused on account of ill- 
health or the dif^culty of travelling from remote corners 
of the diocese. Statutes for the diocese were drawn up 
by the synod and duly promulgated. On November 12 
of the same year the first theological conference of the 
diocese was held in the new Seminary chapel of the 
Holy Name of Jesus, while a similar conference was 
held on the same day at Alton for the priests of the 
southern section of the diocese.* 

^ Father De Maria, who was an excellent classical scholar, 
composed a Latin inscription recording the praise of Bishop Quar- 
ter for having convened his first diocesan synod. The inscription 
is in McGovern, p. 82. The first to receive holy orders in Chi- 


Beginninff Catliolic cducatioii ill Clucago owes its beginnings 

edncation to Bisliop Quai'tei'. On June 3, 1844, scarcely a month 
in Chicago aftcr coRiing to the AVcst, he opened in Father St. Cyr's 
old frame church, which had been removed from its 
original site to the north side of Madison Street between 
Wabash and Michigan Avenue, a Catholic school for 
boys, the first of its kind in Chicago, w^hich he dignified 
with the name of the "College of St. Mary."='' "June 3d. 
On this day the ncAv Catholic College of St. Mary's, 
Chicago,'" the Bishop thus records the event in his 
Diary, "was opened for the reception of students. The 
professors are Rev. ^Messrs. IMcGorisk and Kinsella. 
Rev. Mr. jNIcMahan will assist when necessary. The 
College opened with five students, Timothy Sullivan 
making the sixth." "Shortly after my arrival," wrote 
Bishop Quarter the following Sc])teml)er to Bishoj) 
Purcell of Cincinnati. "1 commenced a small college in 
a very humble way — hoping that at some future day 
we may have means to carry it on more extensively — 
we have given it the eui)li()nious name of St. ]\Iary's 
of the Lake."" 

cago were Patrick McMahan and Bernard McGorisk, ordained 
priests by Bishop Quarter, May 2-i, 184-4. 

"See supra, p. (il. Thougli Father St. Cyr projected a school 
for the Catholic chiklreii of Cliica<;'o, no evidence tliat it was 
actually opened is at hand. 

" Quarter to Purcell, Septend)er 2, 184-4, Catholic Archives 
of America, Notre Dame University. 

The text of Bishop Quarter's Diary, with continuation by 
Father Walter Quarter and Bishop Van de Velde, the whole con- 
stituting an invaluable contemporaneous record of Catliolic his- 
tory in the diocese of Chicago during the period 1844-1853, is 
reproduced in cxtcnso in McGovern's, The Catholic Church in 




E. S" 


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kh }oT\ Hm, 


This humble beginning, perforce a makeshift, was 
presently to develop into an institution commensurate 
with the expansion w^hich his far-eyed vision saw Cath- 
olicism was to undergo in the Middle Western States. 
As a preliminary to his educational scheme, he secured 
from the Illinois Legislature an act dated December 19, 
1844, incorporating "The University of St. Mary of 
the Lake." One cannot but be surprised at this remove 
of time at the boldness of the Bishop's educational 
venture undertaken within six months of his arrival in 
Chicago and amid conditions that seemed utterly out 
of keeping with such an ambitious scale of preparation. 
But somehow this youthful, far-eyed prelate looked 
steadily to the future and the future did not belie his 

In February, 1845, another bill of far-reaching im- 
portance for the interests of Catholicity in Chicago, 
constituting the Catholic Bishop of Chicago and his 
successors a ' ' corporation sole ' ' to hold property in trust 
for religious purposes, was enacted into law by the 
Legislature of Illinois. 

Of these two measures Bishop Quarter wrote at the 
beginning of 1845 to Bishop Blanc of New Orleans: 

"So far I have no cause of complaint, thank Providence. 
I have just got a bill through the Legislature chartering for 
us a University, 'The University of St. Mary of the Lake.' 
The bill passed without opposition. I have now another bill 
before them, which, if it passes, will be highly beneficial to 
Religion, I trust. It is a bill authorizing myself and my 
successors to hold all properties ecclesiastical for which they 
have been granted, purchased, etc. This bill if it passes, will 
obviate the necessity of anything in the form of trusteeism in 


tliis diocese forevei-. There is not a ti'ustee in tlie diocese nor 
shall there he as long as I live."" 

Vniversiiy of III tlic spriiig of 1845 Bisliop Quarter undertook a 

St. Mary ^- ^^ ^Y\G East to collcct monev for the new College 

of the Lake i • i i 

and Seminary which he now planned to buud on prop- 
erty acquired by him on the North Side. The property, 
which comprised an entire block bounded by Chicago 
Avenue, Cass, Superior and Wolcott (now State) 
Streets, had belonged to Chicago's first IMayor, AVilliam 
B. Ogden, who with public-spirited generosity donated 
one-half the block to Bishop Quarter.'" The appeals 
made by the latter in the various cities of the diocese of 
New York netted a little over three thousand dollars. 
On October 17, 1845, work was begun on the new in- 
stitution, as chronicled in the Bishop's Diary. "[17th 
Oct. 1845]. On this day the workmen began to dig the 
foundation of the University of St. Mary of the Lake. 
The name of the man who has contracted to build it is 
Jas. O'Donnell; the name of the architect is Daniel 
Sullivan. In digging the foundation they found shells, 
an evidence it would seem that this was caused by 
the waters of Lake ^Michigan, which have since receded." 
By November 22 the building, which was of frame, was 
under roof, and on July 4, 1846, the University opened 
its new quarters with appropriate ceremonies. It is 
pleasant to recoi'd tliat a note of emphatic American- 
ism was struck in the exercises of the occasion. The 
Declaration of Independence was read by one of the 
students, there was an apostrophe to America and a 

' Quarter to Blanc, January 17, lS-i5, Catliolic Archives of 
America, Notre Dame University. 

"'So, according to the writer in the Illinois Catliolic His- 
torical Hcvieiv, 2: 137. 


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Latin ode to Liberty and the exercises concluded with 
the "Star Spangled Banner". The degree of B. A. was 
conferred on this occasion on Lawrence Hoey, J. A. 
Keane and Dr. J. Walsh of New York.^ This red-letter 
day in the educational history of Chicago was marked 
by a procession of the Catholic clergy and laity to the 
college grounds. 

"Fancy to yourself an entire open black or square, in 
the northeastern part of the city, a short distance from the 
Lake Shore, enclosed with a substantial, high, close plank 
fence, with a beautiful, architectural three-story wooden edifice, 
with brick basement and colonade front, situated on the north 
half of the block, and fronting the south and surrounded on 
all sides with native forest trees of stately growth; oaks, 
linden, cottonwood, elm, etc., shading a grassy lawn, and you 
have in your mind's eye the 'University of St. Mary's of the 
Lake,' which is just now quite the Lion of the day Avith us. 

Fancy to yourself again, on a cool summer morning, and 
that the anniversary of the glorious birthday of Liberty, an 
immense concourse of people, old and young, great and small, 
in rapid movement threading the different streets of our city. 
See them finally settle around the Cathedral and the public 
square on the Lake Shore, see the proud Montgomery Guards 
in beautiful uniform, a company of adopted citizens, headed 
by a spirit-stirring band of music; see the Sunday School 
children by thousands, as white and pure as angels ; see the 
Sons of Temperance with their elegant banners, and see the 
streets filled with lookers on, as this well-ordered procession 
proceeded to the University, accompanied by the Bishop and 
Clergy, Professors and Pupils of the College and you have 
the whole movement before you.^ " 

* Catholic Magazine, 5 : 460. 

^ M. L. Knapp iu the St. Louis News Letter, August 1, 
1846. The University building stood, facing south, on the 
south [?] half of the University block (Chicago Avenue, Cass, 
Superior, State Streets) and well towards the middle of the block. 
Illinois Catholic Historical Eeview, 2 : 138. 


Two days later, July 6, oi'tlinations were held for the 
first time in the new University Chapel of the Holy 
Name of Jesus and on the 14th of the same month the 
students of the Seminary Department moved from Iheir 
old quarters into the new University building.^" 

"The Metropolitan Catholic Almanac and Laity's Directory 
for 18-io lists among the institutions of the "Dioccss" of Chicago, 
,St. :\[aiy's Ecclesiastical Soniiiiary uikI St. Mary's College of the 
Lak(\ wliich latter, in the same publication for 1846, appears as 
the University of St. Mary's of the Lake. (The correct title is 
the one appearing in the charter — University of St. Mary of the 
Lake.) "This Institution is situated in the city of Chicago and 
on the borders of Lake Michigan. The location is pleasant, 
healthy and suflficiently remote from the business part of the city 
to make it favoralile to the pursuits of study. The ample grounds 
and extensive meadows in the vicinity will afford the students an 
opportunity of enjoying healthful exercise and abundant recrea- 
tion in the free and pure air." Father Badin, who was in Chi- 
cago in the summer of 184G, lias this to say of the University: 
"Bishop Quarter has fourteen theologians in his Seminary. The 
College is Ijeautiful, solidly built and without tlaw and free from 

debt." Badin to , June 14, 1846. For an institution 

catering to the needs of what might almost be called a frontier 
settlement, the range of subjects which it offered was surprisingly 
complete and did not differ essentially from the curriculum ob- 
taining in the best present-day institutions of collegiate grade. 
"The course of instruction will embrace Hebrew, Greek, Latin, 
French and English Languages, Poetry, Rhetoric, History, Myth- 
ology, Geography, Book-keeping, Arithmetic, xUgebra, Mathe- 
matics, Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, Natural Philosophy 
and Chemistry. The German, Spanish and Italian Languages, 
together with Music and Drawing, will also be taught if required; 
but for these there will be extra charges." Metropolitan Catholic 
Almanac, etc., 1845, p. 113. An article from the pen of Msgr. 
Daniel J. Riordan in tiie Illinois Catholic Historical Eevicw, 2: 
135-160, is the best account available of Chicago's first Catholic 
University. Of the early students of the University some were 


Provision had thus been made for the Catholic edu- sisters of 
cation of the male youth of Chicago and for the training ^'^"'^ 
of the clergy. Bishop Quarter now took in hand the task 
of securing educational advantages for the Catholic girls 
of the city. At his invitation six Sisters of Mercy from 
the Pittsburg community arrived in Chicago on Septem- 
ber 23, 1846, to establish a convent and open schools. 
The names of these first nuns to arrive in Chicago and 
inaugurate there the great work of the Catholic educa- 
tion of women, which has assumed such splendid propor- 
tions in our own day, are deserving of lasting record. 
They were Sister Mary Agatha 'Brien, Superioress of 
the new foundation and Sisters Mary Vincent McGirr, 
Mary Gertrude McGuire, Mary Eliza Corbett and Mary 
Eva Smith. With them came also, to supervise the 
beginnings of the new establishment, Sister Mary 
Frances Ward, Superioress of the community of the 
Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburg.^^ 

Until better quarters could be provided for them, the 
Bishop gave over to the Sisters his residence on 
]\Iichigan Avenue, a low, one-story frame house of very 
humble appearance, but considerably more pretentious 
than the little cottage in w^hich he thereupon began to 

later to fill posts of distinction in the Church, as Bishops McMul- 
len and Baltes and Archbishops Riordan and Ireland, of whom 
tlie two latter, however, attended the institution for a brief period 
only. It may be noted here that Bishop Quarter had made the 
Virgin Mother patroness not only of his University but of the 
entire diocese. "I have concluded to adopt the Ordo published 
in New Orleans in this diocese, which is under the special protec- 
tion of the Immaculate Mother of God." Quarter to Blanc, No- 
vember 18, 184-i, Catholic Archives of America, Notre Dame Uni- 

" Bishop Quarter 's Diary. 


lodge. The Sisters at once organized St. Xavier's 
Academy as an institution for young ladies, conducting 
classes in the old cluirch vacated a few months pre- 
viously by the students of the University on the comple- 
tion of their new l)uilding on the North Side. 

A contemporary press-notice ])espoke a hearty wel- 
come on the part of the city to tlic first (^atliolie nuns 
to estal)lish themselves in Chicago. 

"A school for young ladies is this clay opened by these 
Sisters of Mercy (than whom none are more competent to 
teach) in the old chapel in the rear of their residence on 
tlie Lake Shore. They also visit the sick and distressed and 
disjjense mercies to the wretched and those whom poverty has 
chained to her car. Ere long, too, they contem]ilate forming 
an Orphan Asylum. What citizen is there who will not hail 
the coming of these Sisters of Mercy as among the choici'st 
of blessings for our city.^- " 

In September, 1847, the Sisters moved into tlio new 
brick building built for them by Bishop Quarter on 
AVabash Avenue on church ])roperty contiguous to the 
Cathedral on the south. The cost of the structure was 
$4,000, of which some .$3,000 were a gift from tlie Asso- 
ciation of the Propagation of the Faith, a Catholic 
international agency with headquarters at Lyons in 
France.^^ A contemporary description of the new 

^-Chicago Daily Democrat, October 24, 1846. Andreas, 2: 
406, states that the Academy of St. Francis Xavier was "organ- 
ized" September 24, 1846. Norris and Gardiner's Chicago Di- 
rectory, 1847-48, give as location of "St. Francis Xavier Female 
Seminary," the corner of Michigan Avenue and Madison Street. 

"Andreas, Uistory of Chicago, 2: 406. "A substantial brick 
building, 40 feet square, 3 stories high, has been erected in "Wa- 
bash Avenue, near Madison Street, for the purpose of a nunnery, 
owned by tlie Catholic Church, cost $4,500; Peter Page and Alex. 


Academy notes that "it is an elegant building and 
situated in a most beautiful spot, commanding an 
agreeable view of Lake Michigan and but a square from 
its banks, surrounded with everything that could render 
it desirable as a suitable place for the instruction and 
training of youth and health combined. . . . Viewed 
at a distance from the lake, the Academy, adjoining the 
Cathedral whose radiant spire, heavenward pointing, 
may be seen afar off amid the beauteous trees that 
surround it and which oft'er an agreeable shade, presents 
an admirable and highly picturesque appearance. "^^ 

St. Xavier's Academy was incorporated by act of 
the Illinois Legislature in 1847. 

Though the Catholics of Chicago were reckoned by St. Patrick' 
Bishop Quarter in 1846 to number only 1,300, one tenth 
the population of the city, he organized, in the course 
of that year three additional parishes, St. Patrick's, St. 
Joseph's and St. Peter's. St. Patrick's church, built at 
the earnest desire of the Bishop's brother, Father 
Walter J. Quarter, who undertook to collect and pay 
for it and who was appointed its first pastor, stood at 
the southwest corner of Desplaines and Randolph 
Streets, on the west side of the River, where Irish im- 
migrants had begun to settle in large numl^crs. The 
architect and builder was Augustine Deodat Taylor, who 
had built the first St. Mary's, and the cost was only 
$750. March 10, 1846, "the frame of the building was 
raised," and on Easter Sunday, April 12, the church 
was opened for divine service. The following August 

Loyd, builders, van Osdel, architect." Norris and Gardiner's 
Chicago Directory, 1847-1848. 

" McGovEUN, op. cit., p. 151. 



Father P. J. McLaiislilin succeeded Father Quarter as 
past or. ■'■■'' 
Gcnnan MeamvliJle, steps had been taken to ])rovide the 

German Catholics of the city witli their oavu liouses of 
divine worship. The earliest attempt to bring them 
religious instruction in llieir own tongue, for the great 
bulk of them, lately ari'ived from Europe, were utterly 
without knowledge of the vernacular, was ai)i)arently 
made by Father Bernard Schacii'er, a Strassburger, and 
the first German-speaking priest to reside for any length 
of time in the city (1836-1837). Father Francis Fischer 
ministered to them during the period 1842 [?] -August 
24, 1844, on which last date he withdrew from Chi- 
cago to return at the summons of his Bishop to liis 
own diocese of Vincennes.^*' On the same day that 
Father Fischer left Chicago Father Gaspar Henry 
Ostlangenburg arrived there from Galena to succeed the 
former as pastor of the German Catholics of the city. 
September 25 of the following year, 1845, Father John 
Jung reached Chicago from Strassburg in Alsace and 
was immediately given charge of the German-speaking 
Catholics. During all this time that part of the Catholic 
body was without a church of its own, services with 
German sermon being held on their behalf at certain 
hours on Sundays at the old and later at the new St. 
]\Iary 's. 

In his efforts to build one or more churches for the 
Catholic immigrants from Germany settled in Chicago, 
Bishop Quarter turned for aid to the Leopoldine 

''•Andreas, op. cit., p. 294; Bishop Quarter's Diary. 

'" Father Martin Kundig, of tlic Diocese of Detroit, held serv- 
ires for the German Catholics in the spring of 1837 in the so- 
called Saloon, a large hall for public gatherings. Cf . supra, p. 102. 

I'dii ^^ 

.V ( 




Association of Vienna, established by Father Reze, 
future Bishop of Detroit, in 1828 for the purpose of 
financing the destitute German Catholic churches and 
parishes of the United States. To the Archbishop of 
Vienna, as President of the Leopoldine Association, he 
wrote October 7, 1844: 

"The newly created diocese embraces the entire State of 
Illinois. About fifty thousand Catholics live within this 
territory, of which the great majority are Germans and 
Irish. Up to date but few Americans profess the Catholic 
faith; we trust, however, that its holy light, through the 
efforts of the missionaries, will, ere long, enlighten many and 
guide them to the true fold of Christ. A great number, 
especially in recent times, have already returned to the all- 
saving church. Here, in Chicago, my so-called episcopal see, 
we have but one Catholic church, and even this one churcli 
is not yet completed. Thus far only the main walls are 
under roof and with much effort the construction of the 
sanctuary has been sufficiently advanced to enable us to officiate 
therein. To complete the nave of the church we are dependent 
on the subscription monies, which are being contributed very 
sparsely by an already otherwise poor and needy congrega- 
tion. We were compelled to mortgage church property to 
prevent the sale of the church building on account of the 
debts incurred. I hope to God, however, that brighter times 
are at our doors. Day by day the number of Catholics is 
growing, of whom the majority are immigrants, who purchase 
a piece of land or some field to cultivate and thus by diligence 
and untiring labor to earn a livelihood. 

Whereas many German Catholics have already settled 
here in Chicago, I indeed deplore the fact that they as yet 
have no church of their own; thus far they have the only 
church here in common with the Irish and the English. Con- 
sequently the divine services are divided between them. At 
8 :30 o'clock the f onner and at 10 :30 o'clock the latter come 
to attend Holy Mass and to hear a sermon. Those among the 
Germans who understand English also frequent the last 
service.^^ " 

'^'Illinois CatJwlic Historical Beview, I: 227. 


For a remittance of almost a thousand dollars from 
the Lcopoldine Association to the needy diocese of 
Chicaj^o, Bishop Quarter conveyed his thanks in a letter 
addressed to the Archbishop of Vienna under date of 
December 20, 1845 : 

"ITdw can I adequately thank you for the great generosity 
and tender love you entertain for the poor diocese of Chicago. 
Your welcome epistle, dated June 20, 1845, arrived here about 
the end of August ; I was not at home at the time, but it was 
delivered to me immediately upon my return 

During the past two years my band of missionaries has 
been increased by sixteen, which is indeed a source of much 
consolation to me. A new clerical Seminary has also been 
erected, at which one professor especially teaches the German 
laiigaage in order that the students on entering tlie holy 
l)riesthood may be enabled to preach and hear confessions in 
this language. The new Cathedral is likewise completed and 
was dedicated on the first Sunday of October, 1845. German 
priests are ministering to the German Catholics in their own 
language, both here in Chicago and vicinity, as well as in 
otlier parishes in this diocese. But as yet the Germans have 
no church of their own, which is indeed a great drawback. 
The faithful of every nationality gather in one and the same 
church ; this does not permit of special religious instructions 
for German children and people in their own language, and 
consequently no Geraian priest can exercise a direct influence 
over them, which would be possible if they had their own 
chureli, in which the sermons and instructions could be con- 
ducted in the German language. 

I therefore earnestly beg of you to provide nic with 
means to ameliorate these conditions and to buihl a clmrcli 
for the Gei'man Catholics oi" this city. I beseech God to touch 
tile licai'ls of some benefactors for tliis i)urpose.^^ " 

In the following January Bishop Quarter again 
appealed to tlie Archbishop of Vienna for aid to enable 

^'^ Illinois Catliolic Ilistorical Beviciv, I: 231. 


him to build a church and school for the German 
Catholics of Chicago. He had in view an eligible piece 
of property on which to build them, but the price asked 
for it, about $3,500, was beyond his means. Whatever 
surplus money he found at his disposal went to pay off 
the debt on his Cathedral, amounting to some $4,820, 
so that he could be in a position to say that his cathedral 
at least was free from incumbrance.^^ 

In the spring of 1846 Bishop Quarter was at last '^^- ^«*«»"'*' 

St. Joseph's 

enabled to realize his plans in favor of the German 
Catholics of Chicago. We read in his Diary: "March 
28th. Rev. jMr. Jung signed a contract today with A. 
D. Taylor to build two German Catholic churches in 
Chicago. Present : the Bishop, Messrs. Diversey, Shaller, 
Busche and Heptinger, both to be built for $1,000." St. 
Peter's, a frame structure, 40x60 feet, on the north side 
of Washington Street between Fifth Avenue (Wells 
Street) and Franklin Street, was dedicated by Bishop 
Quarter on August 2, 1846, being the first German 
Catholic church to be opened in Chicago. On August 
15 following, the Bishop dedicated St. Joseph's church 
of frame, 36x65 feet, erected on the North Side at the 
northeast corner of Chicago Avenue and Cass Street. 
Father Jung was for a period pastor of both parishes. 

'^"Illinois Catholic Historical Eevicw, 1: 232. The sixth and 
last letter of Bishop Quarter to the Leopoldine Association in 
Vienna is published in translation in the January, 1919, issue of 
the Bevieiv named. Therein he records gratefully the receipt from 
the Association of $1,300, which sum was applied to various needs 
of the diocese, e. g. " towards the erection of the Seminary, which 
costs ten thousand dollars ; towards the support of the Semina- 
rians which amounts to two thousand dollars ; to erect a church 
for the Germans of the city which will cost fifty-five hundred 
dollars. ' ' 


singing High ]\Iass on alternate Sundays at either 
church, until he was relieved at St. Joseph's in October, 
1847, by Father Schaeffer and at St. Peter's by Father 

In view of the facts assembled in the preceding para- 
graphs the year 1846 must stand out as a notable one in 
the parochial organization of the Catholic Church in 
Chicago. This year saw the original parish of St. 
Mary's thirteen years after its creation by Father St. 
Cyr, reenforced by three additional parishes, St. 
Patrick's for the Irish Catholics of the AVest Side and 
St. Peter's and St. Joseph's for the German Catholics 
of the South and North Sides respectively. Moreover, in 
1846 were laid the foundations of the parish of the Holy 
Name on the North Side, the English-speaking Catholics 
resident in that division of the city being assigned in 
that year to the spiritual care of the Fathers attached to 
the University of St. ]\Iary's of the Lake, who began to 
hold services for them in the University chapel of the 
Holy Name of Jesus. 

Not only in Chicago but throughout his entire diocese 
Bishop Quarter bent every effort to build churches where 
they were needed and thcrcl)y luring the consolations of 
religion within convenient reach of the inpouring Irish 
and German immigrants, who constituted the bulk of the 
Catholic population of Illinois.-^ He built in all thirty 

-"Andreas, op. cit., 295; Catholic Almanac, 1848; Bishop 
Quarter's Diary. 

=' Bishop Quarter calculated in 1S46 that his diocese was one- 
1hird German and two-thirds "Irish, French and Americans." 
Illinois Catholic Eistorical Eevieiv, October, 1918, p. 233. A later 
estimate made by the Bishop in the same year gave the Germans 


churches, ten of which were of cither brick or stone. 
Moreover, he ordained at Chicago during his brief 
episcopacy twenty-nine priests, whereas, when he en- 
tered the diocese, there w^ere onlj^ six and not a single 
candidate for Holy Orders. At his death he left 
behind him fifty-three priests and twenty ecclesiastical 
students.'- What had been accomplished during his 
incumbency as Bishop he reviewed in a spirit of devout 
thanksgiving in the last pastoral letter which he issued 
to his flock. 

"The great increase in the number of the Catholic popu- 
lation of this city may be inferred from the following facts : 
in the year 1844, when we took possession of this See there 
Avas only one Catholic church in the city of Chicago. There 
are now four^ together with the chapel of 'The Holy Name 
of Jesus,' attached to 'The University of St. Mary of the 
Lake.' This one Catholic church, then under roof, but not 
finished, accommodated all the Catholics on Sunday. The 
German Catholics, the Irisli and American Catholics assembled 
Avithin its walls to assist at the divine mysteries and were not 
pressed for room. The German Catholic churches of St. Peter 
and St. Joseph have since been built ; the Catholic church 
of St. Patrick also, which has lately been enlarged by an 
addition capable of containing as many as the original edifice. 
The University of St. Mary of the Lake has been built 
within that time, to which is attached the Chapel of the Holy 
Name of Jesus, as also the Convent of "the Sisters of Mercy," 
which has its domestic chapel. Now all of these places set 
apart for the worship of God and for the celebration of the 
august sacrifice of the Mass are crowded to overflowing every 
Sunday with Catholics. What stronger proof is needed of the 
grand and rapid increase of Catholics in this eity?-^" 

twenty-eight thousand out of a total Catholic pojDulation of fifty 
thousand for Illinois. 

=^ McGiRR, Life of Bt. liev. William Quarter, p. S7. 

=^ Id., p. 86. 


Bishop ^ 111 tiio Diary whieli IJishop Quarlri' kept during his 

j)iarij residence in Chicago -with u certain old-world leisiii-eli- 

iicss, though there was nothing leisurely in the energetic 
stride of his episcopal career, the outstanding features 
of his personality are portrayed by his own hand with 
intimate and often vivid touch. No other form of 
literature leads us further into the innermost secrets of 
human character than the Diary or Journal. Bishop 
Quarter's Chicago Diary is no exception to the rule. 
One may not, indeed, call it a jounial in time. Rather 
does it deal primarily with the varied official busi- 
ness that crowded the few years of his episcopal career. 
And yet withal it does in one entry and another re- 
veal very intimately what manner of soul was behind 
the steady progress of visible achievement that men saw 
and commented on. Zeal, piety, restless energj-, sym- 
pathy with his flock, unaffected charity, prudent plan- 
ning for the future, these and kindred traits of the 
Christian prelate discover themselves in its carefully 
written pages. Now he records his joy in the simple 
piety and zeal for religion of the Catholic servant-girls 
of Chicago; now he describes the solemn services at the 
Cathedral, not overlooking to enter accurately the names 
and functions of the clergy participating; and now, for 
to every phase of his environment he seemed to be 
awake, he notes the state of the w^eather or registers the 
names of the steamers, which as he looked out towards 
the Lake from his little episcopal cottage on jNIichigan 
Avenue, he saw entering or leaving the liai'bor. Some 
extracts from the Diary are cited: 

"1844, May 5. The residence of tlie Bislioi) ami ol' the 
clergy at the present time is a small one-story frame buil<ling' 
fronting- the lake. There are, at the present writing, only two 
priests doing duty in Chicago. 


1844, ]May. The old church is a long, low, frame build- 
ing, having a small steeple and bell surmounted by a cross. 
The new church is of brick and is a respectable building. 
Its dimensions are one hundred feet in length and fifty- 
five feet in width. There is a lot of ground adjoining the 
neAV church upon which may yet be erected the diocesan 
Cathedral; there is also a lot in the rear of the church, 
where a free school for the poor of the congregation may 
in course of time be erected. There are ten acres of land a 
short distance out of town where is now the Catholic burial 
ground and where may be built at some future day a Charity 
Hospital. The residence of the Bishop and of the clergy at 
the present time is a small one-story frame building fronting 
the lake. There are, at the present time, only two priests 
doing dut}" in Chicago : the Rev. Mr. de St. Palais, French, 
and Rev. Mr. Fischer, German ; there are two Seminarians : 
Messrs. P. McMahan and Bernard McGorisk, and one boy of 
the age of 15, Timothy Sullivan, who is destined for the 
priesthood. Second Sunday after the arrival of the Bishop, 
May 12th, the Bishop preached at the High Mass, published 
that the Seminarians named above would receive sub- 
deaconship on the following Thursday (Ascension day) at 
8 o'clock Mass; and that there would be a meeting of the 
congregation on Monday evening at 7 o'clock to take into 
consideration the best mode of raising subscriptions to plaster 
the walls and finish the Cathedral. The meeting was held and 
a good spirit j^revailed. 

May 24th, Friday. Today the Bishoii officiated pon- 
tifically and raised to the dignity of the Priesthood the Rev. 
Messrs. P. McMahan and Bernard McGorisk. 

June 3rd. Today received a letter from the Bishop of 
Yincennes recalling to his diocese Rev. Messrs. de St. Palais, 
Fischer, De Pontavice and Gueguen. 

June 15tli. On this morning the Bishop set out, in com- 
pany with Rev. Mr. de St. Palais for Joliet, with the intention 

of visiting a portion of the Diocese, set out for 

Ottawa The roads were very bad; swam the horses 

over the La Salle river; stopped that night at Verniets within 
nine miles of Ottawa; reached Ottawa next day early; had 


some (lillicuKy in itassiiio' the sloug-lis; had to ajiply I'ails to 
lift the carriage out of them twice; found a steamboat ready 
to sail down the Illinois river; stopped at Peru. 

June Tilth. Walked to La SaUe; saw the chufch and 

August 23rd. Rev. Maurice de St. Palais took his de- 
l^arture from Chicago for the diocese of Vincennes. 

November 1. On All Saints Day formed a society among 
the children of the congregation having for its ol)je(-t their 
religious instruction. 

In the ))egimiing of this month the spire of the steejile 
was elevated on its base. The steeple erected this montli also, 
the first and onlj' spire, as yet, in the city of Chicago. 

1845, March 15. Saturday, 9 o'clock. Just noticed the 
steamer Champion sailing out of Chicago harbor for St. 
Joseph, Mich., her first trip there this season. 

"Some weeks previous to Holy Week, Margaret Donohue, 
domestic at the Bishop's, inquired of the Bishop if there 
would not be a Repository prepared for the Blessed Sacra- 
ment during Holy AVeek. The Bishop had but little hope of 
making much preparations for Holy Week, owing to the 
unfinished state of the church; but when the question was 
asked he told this pious girl to make what preparations she 
could. She immediately set to work and the following pious 
girls, all of whom are living out, lent their aid, viz. ]\Iary 
Long, who was indefatigable, Mary Casey and Mary Gleason. 
These girls collected amongst their ac(|uaintance many orna- 
ments. Mr. Thomas Aughoney, one of tlie Seminarians, had 
already constructed a neat altar in the basement of the clmrch, 
and this the girls proposed dressing up for a Repository. 
When Holy Week arrived, they spread on the jthitform of 
the little altar a carpet they had already purchased and then 
went on arranging the drapery, flower vases, etc., until it was 
tastefully and very neatly arranged before Holy Thursday. 
It is worthy of remark that when tlie funds gave out and 
they could not purchase all the artificial flowers they wanted, 
so as to weave a wreath for the front of the altar, they 
stripped their bonnets of their ornaments and made a wreath 
of those flowers to adorn the Altar of their God, wliich before 

TMii ^L ■ 






The Rosaries of D. V. i\I., and of Jcsiis; tlie Little 

Oflice of die D. V. M.: llie Kiiius of the Coii- 

fraleiuity of tlie Scapular; togetiierwith the 

Indulgences granted to tiie Confrater- 

nitiud of Rosary and Scapular. 





And of the Association for a Happy Death, called 
Bona Mors. 



For the Conversion of Sinners. 





And sold Ijy Charles M'Donnel, corner of Market and Randolph 
Streets, near the South Branch Bridge. 

Title page of the first CMtholic liook puMisheil in Chicago. 
"During his stay, the latter [Rev. James Cummiskey] has pub- 
lished a catechism for the Diocese that has received the sanction 
of the Bisliop, and a work entitled "Rosarist's Companion," for 
the use of the members of the different Confraternities of which 
it treats. These two are, it is believed, the first Catholic books 
ever published in Chicago." Bishop Quarter's Diary. Copy of 
Hosarist's Companion in possession of Miss Harriet McDonnell, 
daughter of Charles McDonnell, proprietor of Chicago 's first 
Catholic book store. 


might have subserved their own vanity! May our Heavenly 
Father reward such devotedness, such piety in his humble 
handmaids. At his birth the poor were the first to wait on 
the Infant Jesus. At his death also, and in this new See of 
Chicago, the poor girls were the first to prepare for our 
Lord the Repository. 

March 24. On this evening at 6 o'clock the steamboat 
Bunker Hill left the harbor of Chicago for Buffalo — the first 
boat run on the lake this season — a fine, cool evening — clear 

Low Sunda,y, March 30. There was in the church Rev. 
Jas. Cummiskey, who is sojourning in the city since last fall. 
During his stay, the latter has published a catechism for the 
sanction of the Bishop, and a work entitled "Rosarist's Com- 
panion," for the use of the different Confraternities of which 
it treats. These two are, it is believed, the first Catholic works 
ever published in Chicago. A Catholic book-store has been 
opened last week by Charles McDonnell; this is the first 
Catholic book-store in the city.^* 

April 7. Monday morning, at 9 o'clock, a violent snow- 
storm set in. About an hour previous, mountainous clouds 
hovered over the lake, towards the northeast, their peaks 
sunclad, their flanks dark and shadowing. They burst opposite 
Chicago and emptied themselves of snow to the depth of 
three or four inches in the city. The lake swelled its waves 
and as the storm has not subsided entirely at 10 o'clock, the 
troubled, agitated waters of the lake still rage and rave. The 
Champion was seen returning into the harbor, having made 
probably a fruitless attempt to reach Milwaukee. 

January, 1846. About the first Sunday of the New Year, 
Sister Mary Agatha O'Brien, first Mother Superior of the 
"Sisters of Mercy" in Chicago, formed a society amongst the 
female children of the congregation, called the society of the 

" The McDonnell bookstore was on the east side of Market 
Street, between Lake and Randolph Streets. Miss Harriet Mc- 
Donnell, a daughter of Chicago's pioneer Catholic book-dealer, is 
still a resident in the city. 


"Children of Mary." About sixty female children entered their 
names as members. 

On the Saturday before the first Sunday after Epiphany, 
Mr. Hampston, one of the Seminarians, foi-med a society 
amongst the boys, under the patronage of *St. Joseph.' 

January 9th. The first Sunday after Epij^hany the fol- 
lowing named Catholic gentlemen met in the Bishop's room 
after Vespers : .'Messrs. John Breen, John McGovern, Charles 
McDonnell, William Snowhook, Thomas Kinsella, John Devlin, 
all Irish, and Mr. Ellis, Scotch, and had a conversation re- 
garding the propriety of establishing a society to be known 
by the name of the 'Hibernian Benevolent Emigrant Society.' 
The Bishop said he approved highly of the, design of forming 
such a society — that it was called for by every feeling of 
humanity, benevolence and charity — and that it should have 
his hearty co-operation. He showed that the active efforts of 
such a society could not fail to benefit the State, whilst it 
would be of service to the emigrant in a variety of ways. 
Many had sought the West during the jiast year. It was 
likely that a large number would turn their steps westward 
the coming s]:»ring and every feeling of sympathizing hiunanity 
seemed to require that tliere l)e someone to liid the stranger 
'Welcome.' " -' 

Death of The stream of Bisliop Quarter's health ami enei-gy 

Quarter '^^'^^ flowiiig at full tide when death claimed him at the 
early age of forty-two. On Passion Sunday, April 9, 
1848, he preached at the Cathedral High ]\Iass on the 
Apostolicity of the Church. Father Jeremiah A. Kin- 
sella, President of the rniversity of St. ]\rary of the 

"'"Tlio march of the Catholic religion in this State [Illinois] 
is onward. Nothing will appear so obvious to the traveller, even 
the least observant, as this fact. A constant flood of emigration 
pours into this fertile country; every ship or steam-boat that 
ploughs through Lake Michigan to Chicago comes loaded with 
settlers, the most of them are Catholics." "Americanus" in the 
St. Louis Ncius Letter, August 8, 1846. 


Lake, who was present, declared that he had never heard 
the theme handled with more telling effect.^'' On leaving 
the pulpit the Bishop expressed himself as feeling very 
much fatigued after the effort and it was remarked that 
his voice at Vespers on that day lacked its usual fullness 
of tone. But otherwise he did not appear particularly 
unwell and in the evening in converse with his friends 
his customary liveliness of manner did not forsake him. 
He retired early, after remarking to Father McElhearne, 
who resided with him, that he felt indisposed, but that 
he thought sleep would restore him. About three o 'clock 
in the morning, j\Ionday, April 10, Father McElhearne 
was awakened by loud moans that came from the 
Bishop's apartment. Hurrying at once to his aid, he 
found him very weak and in great distress from a severe 
pain in the head. The Father realized that the Bishop 's 
strength was rapidly failing him ; and so, after summon- 
ing medical aid, he proceeded at once to administer to 
him the last rites of the church. Scarcely had this timely 

-° Bishop Quarter appears from numerous testimonies to have 
been an excellent preacher. In this connection the following item 
from the St. Louis Neivs Letter, November 21, 1847, may be 
quoted. It refers to a slow and tedious river-trip which the 
Bishop made from La Salle to Alton during low water : ' ' He 
was not, however, while on board idle. He preached several times 
to a number of most respectable and intelligent passengers (about 
two hundred) composed of physicians, lawyers, merchants and 
wealthy planters, the most of whom were just returning from 
the Saratoga Springs to their homes in the Sunny South. He 
answered to the satisfaction of all the most popular objections 
urged against Catholic doctrine and Catholic discipline. All the 
passengers were highly delighted with the Bishop — his easy and 
dignified manner commanded the respect even of the most 
bigoted. ' ' 


service Ijccii rendered whvn the I>islioi) ullered the 
Avords, "Lord, have mercy on my poor soul." They 
were the last he spoke. He straightway relapsed into 
unconsciousness, dying a few minutes later. "When Dr. 
McGirr, his phy.sician and intimate friend, reached his 
bedside, all Avas over. The first Bishop of Chicago had 
rested from his labors; but his works, and they seemed 
of surpassing merit, folloAvod him."^ 

"Following- the final entry in Bisliop Quarter's Diary is a 
notice of his death written liy Fatlier Kinsellfi, President of tlic 
University of St. Mary of the Lalie. "April 10, 1848. Died, at 
his Episcopal residence, Chicago, the Eight Rev. Dr. Quarter, the 
first Bishop of Chicago. On the day preceding his death, Sunday 
of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, he lectured at last Mass 
in the Cathedral on the Apostolicity of the church. AVe iuive 
never heard so profoui^d a discourse on the same suljject. A\'hut 
an open and sincere profession of Faith did the Apostle of this 
young church make the day before he gave up his pure sjiirit to 
Him who gave it I Shortly before 3 o 'clock on the morning of 
tlie 10th, the Rev. Mr. McElhearne, the clergyman who resided 
witli the Bishop, and the housekeeper, were awakened liy loud 
moans. Tliey hurried instantly to the Bishop's apartment and 
found him walking tlirough his room. He complained most of 
pain in liis head and heart. He thought there was no necessity 
of medical aid, but wished frequently to see the Rev. Mr. Kin- 
scHa, President of the University of St. Mary of the Lake. He 
began to sink rapidly and the time of his dissolution seemed to 
be at hand; so that the Rev. Mr. McElhearne deemed it necessary 
to administer to him all those consolations which our Holy Church 
prescribes to be given to the soldiers of Jesus Christ at their 
dying moments. He lived only a few minutes afterwards. The 
soul of the disinterested, the zealous, the holy, pious Bishop Quar- 
ter at the hour of 3 o 'clock on this morning fled to its God, 
whose vicar he was in truth, to render an account of his steward- 
ship and to receive the great reward that was due his truly apos- 
tolic labors. J. A. Kinsella, Pres. U. St. M. of the Lake." 


Grief in Chicago over the demise of the brilliant 
young prelate, thus snatched away with tragic suddeli- 
ness from the scenes of his ever-growing usefulness, was 
as universal as it was unfeigned. Through long 
hours, great crowds of the Catholic laity and large 
numbers of the Protestant population of the city, 
clergymen among them, thronged the humble epis- 
copal residence on ^Michigan Avenue, where the re- 
mains of the deceased were first laid out. At three 
'clock on Friday, Feast of the Seven Dolors, the funeral 
rites took place at the Cathedral wnth every solemnity 
which the young Church of Chicago could command. 
The Office of the Dead was chanted by the assembled 
clergy and an eloquent eulogy of the deceased Bishop 
pronounced by Father Feely of Peoria. The remains 
were interred in a specially prepared vault under the 
sanctuary and directly in front of the high altar of the 
Cathedral. Dr. J\IcGirr, Bishop Quarter's physician 
and biographer, dwells on the impressive scenes that 
marked the obsequies. 

"At half -past four o'clock the procession formed to con- 
duct the body to its resting place. First came the clergymen 
and ecclesiastical students — then the body, borne bj^ six priests 
— then the students of the University — then the pupils of the 
Academy of St. Francis Xavier — then followed the people 
of all denominations, sexes and sizes. It passed out of the 
church; moved round to the rear, Avhere a tomb had been 
prepared for it beneath the sanctuary, and in front of the 
altar which he himself had reared. The ceremony was 
orderly and imi^osing. And when the clergymen in their 
white surplices, with lighted candles in their hands, and the 
beautiful little children of the Academy, dressed in white, 
reminding one of guardian angels, watching to protect us, 
stood with lighted candles in their hands around the tomb, 


while the body was being eoinmitted to its kindred earth, the 
effect was beyond description." 

Here in the first Catholic Cathedral oi' Cliicago, at 
the southwest corner of Madison Street and ^Va])ash 
Avenue, the remains of Bishop Quarter continued to 
rest until the great fire of 1871 when they Avere trans- 
ferred to Calvary.^^ 

Testimony of value to the sterling worth of Bishop 
Quarter's personality is to be found in the impression 
he made in non-Catholic circles of the city. Distin- 
guished citizens of the day, like AVilliam B. Ogdcn, 
Walter Newberry and J. Young Scammon, though dif- 
fering from him in religious affiliation, lent him lilieral 
financial aid and encouragement in the various enter- 
prises to which he put his hand ; for which generosity, 
Dr. McGirr wrote in 1848, the Catholic Church of Chi- 
cago OAved them a debt of gratitude which would not 
soon be forgotten. One gets an idea of the esteem in 
which the Bishop was held l)y his Protestant fi-iends 
from the tribute to his memory which one of their num- 
ber, ^h\ J. Lisle Smith, put on record in the Chicago 

''In the social circle he was beloved by all who knew 
him. In his public sphere of duty, he was universally admired 
and respected. Enemies he had none; for his kind and gentle 
spirit disarmed opposers and converted them into Avarm and 
devoted friends. 

-* A niarblc cenotaph of Bishop Quarter designed by A'an 
Osdel and executed in the studios of A. S. Sherman stood in llie 
south wall of St. Mary's Cathedral a few feet from tlu> south 
altar. It measured seven feet, four inclu^s high by four feet, 
three niches wide an<l was surmounted by a ric'ldy ornamented 
urn fifteen inches high, "the whole presenting a most 1)eautiful 
and striking appearance as you entered the church." 


Such a man's departure to another sphere is a great 
calamity. Who can supply his place? Who can, in so short 
a sojourn in a land of strangers, again make so many and 
such true friends'?" 

•'But he is gone — gone to his great reward. Peace to his 
ashes. Honor to his memory!" 

A similar vein of esteem and affection for the de- 
ceased prelate runs through the stanzas of a poem 
written on the occasion of his death by a young Prot- 
estant poetess of Chicago, Miss Mary A. Merritt. 

"Sorrow not as those without a hope" 

Now all is over ! to the requiem 

Of the deep organ, solemn in its swell, 
They bore him onward to the chamber dim. 

Our Friend — our Father — he that loved us well ! 
Never ! ah, never, shall so kind a glance 

Send us the greeting he was wont to send, 
'er the calm brightness of his countenance 

The chilling shadows of the grave descend. 

His form is resting 'neath the saintly shade 

Of shrine and altar that he helped to rear ; 
AVithin their silence he hath knelt and prayed, 

And it is fitting we should lay him here. 
So may the organ's wild and thrilling peal 

A mournful requiem o'er his slumber pour, 
AVhile our hushed spirits thrill again to feel 

His presence near us though of earth no more.-^ 

Our meagre account of Bishop Quarter's brilliant, 
if fleeting, episcopal career in Chicago may here find an 

-" Quoted iu McGirk, Life of Bt. Bev. JVilliam Quarter, p. 98. 
Miss Merritt devoted the proceeds of the sale of a volume of her 
poems to the erection of the marble cenotaph of Bishop Quarter 
in St. Mary's Cathedral. 


end. AVlu'ii in llic .Iniio followiii.ii; liis death l>isli()i) 
Hughes of New York, who had consecrated him in 1844. 
passed through Chicago, he w^as in admiration at what 
the dead prelate had accomplished in so short a time, 
saying more than once: "Oh, if all would labor like 
Bishop Quarter. Look at what he has done ! See the 
University, see tliat Convent! "What had he wlien he 
came here — and still see what he has left after him. 
Bishop Quarter is gone, but Bishop Quarter's memory 
shall never be, can never be forgotten in Chicago."^" 

'"McGovERN, The Catholic Church in Chicago, y. 89. 




^Ky.- ^ 



^ ^ 




C** ^> 






'-^-''^ ' 

Et. Rev. Jaiiirs Olivor A'an de Yelde, second Bishop of Chi- 
cago, 1849-1853. Born in Belgium in ITDo. Transferred in 1853 
to the See of Natchez, wliere he died in 1855. As a member 
of the Society of Jesus before his elevation to episcopal rank, 
he held impoitant executive positions including those of President 
of Saint Louis University and Superior of the Vice-Province of 


Bishop Van de Velde 

On the death of Bishop Quarter, his brother, Father 
"Walter Quarter, at the instance of the neighboring 
Bishops, took provisionally in hand the administration 
of the diocese, a step subsequently approved by the 
Archbishop of Baltimore and the Holy See. Father 
Quarter showed himself zealous and energetic in ful- 
filling this important charge, though for lack of funds 
he made no attempt to carry forward the new projects 
to which his brother was about to put his hand. Shortly 
before the latter 's death, arrangements had been made 
to add to the spacious building of the University another 
one of brick. Moreover, the Convent and Academy of 
the Sisters of Mercy was to receive an addition that 
would double the capacity of the original building, a 
charity hospital and an orphan asylum were to be 
erected and steps had been taken towards the publication 
of a Catholic paper in Chicago. It was left to the 
second Bishop of Chicago, James Oliver Van de Velde, 
to take in hand and realize these noble designs in the 
cause of Christian charity and religious growth left him 
as a precious heritage by his predecessor. 

Under date of December 14. 1848, Father Quarter 
wrote in his Diary: "14th. Received a letter this 
morning from the Most Rev. Archbishop of Baltimore 
stating that Very Rev. J. Van de Velde, of St. Louis, 




James Oliver 
Tan dc Velde, 

is appointed Bishop of Chicago in place oi my l)i'ollicr, 
the Rijjht Rev. Dr. Quarter. Glory be to God! May 
his Episcoi^al reign Ije such as will give glory to God 
and peace to the Church is all T have to say; I rejoice, 
however, that the Very Rev. ]\Ir. Van de Velde is the 
person appointed."^ 

James Oliver Van de Velde was born in Lebbeke, 
near Tcrmonde, in Belgium, April 3, 1795. While a 
candidate for the priesthood in the Grand Seminary of 
Mechlin, he came under the spell of the heroic Father 
Nerinckx. then in Bolgium in search of financial aid and 
clerical workers for his destitute missions of Kentucky. 
It was agreed between the two that Mr. Van de Velde 
should accompany the missionary to America and com- 
plete his theological studies in IMshop Flaget's Seminary 
at BardstoA\ai. Accordingly, in company witli Fatlier 
Nerinckx and a party of clerical recruits, among them 
several young Belgians on their Avay to the Jesuit 
Novitiate at Georgetown College, he crossed the Atlantic 
in the spring of 1817, in the brig Mars, Captain ITall. 
After a few "weeks' stay at St. Mary's Seminary, Balti- 
more, where he recovered from the effects of an accident 
he had met with on board the ship, he was received into 
the Jesuit Novitiate at Georgetown College, August 28, 
1817. Here he remained fourteen years, meantime being 

^Bishop Quarter's Diary was continued by Ids brother, Father 
Walter Quarter, and later by Bishop Van de Velde. Father Quar- 
ter returned to the diocese of New York, to which he originally 
belonged, sliortly after the arrival of Bishop \'aii de Velde in 
Chicago. He was visited in 1851 at his rectory in New York City 
by two young Chicagoans, John McMullcn and James McGovern, 
then on their way to Rome, wliore they were to make their ecclesi- 
astical studies at the Propaganda. 


raised to the priesthood, 1827, and discharging various 
duties, among others those of professor of Belles Lettres 
and librarian of the College. The last-named occupation 
particularly appealed to him and he notes in a Memoir 
with evident satisfaction the circumstance that he found 
the library of Georgetown College, when he assumed its 
management in 1818, a mere handful of some two hun- 
dred books and left it in 1831 a great collection of 
twenty thousand volumes. In that year Father Van de 
Velde was attached by his Superiors to the teaching 
staff of the college, soon to become a University, con- 
ducted by the Jesuits since 1829 in St. Louis, Missouri. 
He travelled West in company with Father Peter 
Kenny, Visitor of the Jesuit houses in the United 
States, and Father William McSherry, Assistant of the 
latter, the three having enjoyed the rare good for- 
tune on the eve of their journey of being entertained 
by the venerable Charles Carroll of Carrollton at his 
mansion, Doughregan Manor, in Howard County, 

Father Van de Velde, after being attached to the 
Missouri Jesuits, filled various posts of honor and im- 
portance among them. At St, Louis University he was 
successively Professor of Belles Lettres, Vice-President 
and President. During the period 1843-1848 he was 
Superior of the Vice-Province of Missouri, of which 
office he had been relieved but a few months when 
word came to him that he had been named by the Holy 
See to the vacant see of Chicago. An account from 

- In keeping with the European custom favoring a certain 
prodigality in the bestowal of proper names, the full name of the 
second Bishop of Chicago was John Andrew James Oliver Bene- 
dict Rotthier Van de Velde. 


Fallicr \';iii dc X'cldc's own luiiid i^-ixcs iii1ci'csrm<^ 
(Iclnils of tlic (•ii'cniiisl;iii('cs iiiiilcr wliidi llic .ippiiini- 
iiu'iil \\iis r('('('i\('(|. 

"Ill llic l)ci;iiiiiini;- of XuNciiihcr of the same year [1848] 
Kallicr \'aii dc N'cldc wciil to New Yovk to Iraiisact some 

Van (Ic 


(ipiKiiiil iiicnl 

lo the Sve business oL' iiii])()i'laiU'e Inr the \'|icc| l'i-(i\iiicc. On liis 

oj vhicayo T(>tui'ii lic i)nss('(l llirouti'li r.alt inline, where on I lie \eiy day 

of his arrixal Ihe news had reached tiial tlie Holy I''alhei- 
had iioniinaled him lo Ihe \aeant see of ('liiea^n. This inlel- 
lii^'cnee was (•oinnmnicaled lo him hy the \Cry lie\. L. \\. 
Delnol, Sii|ierior of Ihe Sulpieians, and was eontained in u 
h'ltei- which Ihe latter had just received from Right liev. Dr. 
('haiiche, l'>isho|) of N'alche/, who was then in l^aris and had 
ohlained ollicial in lormal ion u\' il I'rom the Apostolic Nuncio, 
iMonsiniior Koniari. I''alher \'an de \'elde lel'l IJaltiniure the 
saiiic day, hel'oi'e Ihe news ol' his nominal ion was known to 
any ol' his IVieiids, and out-lra\'elled it till he reached Cin- 
cinnali. where a telcLiraphic dispatch aniioiincinL;' it had lieeii 
recei\-ed from Ihe Archhishop o\' r>alliiiiore on the iiiorniiiu' 
of his arri\al. ( )n his way to St. Louis he \isiled I'.ards- 
lown to consult Ihe K'e\-. V. N'erhaeu'eii, then I'residenI of S|. 
Joseph's Colleiic, concerning' the manner in which he should 
act under tiie circunislances in wliiidi he was placed. It was 
aLjreed that he should de(dine the nomination luiless coinpelleil 
hy an express coinmand ol' Mis lloliness. lli' reached St. 
Louis in Ihe heuinniiiL;' (d' Deceinher. There all was known 
and the Uriel' with a letter IreeinL;' him I'roiii all allegiance 
to Ihe Society (d' Jesus, and appointiiiL;' him lo the \acaiit 
see of ('hicai^o, arriscd hut a few ilays later. Il hore ihe 
sup<'rscripl ion ol' the Archliishop ol' Halt iiiKU'c. who hy letter 
iirLi'ed him to accept. N'ol Ioul;' hel'ore we had heen inrornied 
\\\ Ihe papers that iiome had lalleii iiilo the hands o\' the 
SocialisI rebels and that the lloly Kalhi'r had lied in disguise 
I'roni Ihe holy cily. Ilence b'alher A'an de \ Chle. who was 
anxious lo relurii Ihe package, knew not whither lo send it. 
■and kept it \\w se\'erai days unsealed, as he had receiNcd il. 
In the meantime he wrote to the Cardinal I'rerect of t he 
I'ropaLianda and to the ({eiieral of the Societv, who had also 

nisiioi' VAN i)i': M'.LDi': 141 

left Rome, eiidcavdiMiiii' to he freed I'roin the burden wliidi it 
was inteiid(Ml to impose u\m)u liiiu. In his pei'plexity lie went 
to consult the Arehl)ishop of St. Louis to know whither lie 
should send the Brief o\' ;ii)|)(iiiituient, in ease it should ar- 
rive, i'or no one yet knew that lu' had i'ecei\-ed it. Tlie Arch- 
bishop, before answering, insisted upon knowiuu' whether the 
Brief had been received. On bein^' answered in tlie aflirnia- 
tive and having the package ])resenle(l to him he inuuediatelv 
broke the seal and examined the contents, lie gaxc it as his 
ojiinion that the letter, if not the Brief, contained a couuuand 
to accept and used his iullueuce to prexail upon t'ather \ an 
de Velde to do so and to he conseci'ated without delay. The 
nominee asked for a delay of six weeks to I'ellect on the 
matter, hoping that in the meantime he would receixc answers 
to the letters which he had written to K'ome and to l"'rance. 
Unwilling to accept the nomiiuition and distrusting his own 
jndgment, he referred the matter as a case of conscience to 
thi-ee theologians, re(|uesting them to decide whether the words 
of the letter contained a ]iositi\e connuaiul and whether, in 
case they did, he was hound under sin to ohey. Their decision 
was in the afliiMuatixe and he suhmitted to hear the yoke, lie 
was consecrate(l on Sexagesinui Sunday, 11th of t'ehiuary, 
1849, in the Church of St. Francis Xa\iei' attached to the 
University [of St. Louis], by the Most K'e\-. Peter 1». Keuiick. 
assisted 1)V the r.ishops of Dul)U(|ue and Nasluille. and the 
Right Ke\'. Dr. Spalding delivert'd the consecration sermon." 

liunu'diulcly al'ter liis eoiiseei'iition, Uishop \'aii dv 
Vcldc began to visit some of the parishes of his juris- 
diction in the neighl)()rlio()d of St. Louis. ("ahokia. 
Kaska.skia and Quiney were gi\-eu au opportunity to 
welcome him, and sermons were prcncdied by him in 
these ronnds in English, h'reiu'h and (Jenuan.'' lie 

'Bishop Van de Velde wnitc; English with an ididnialic ]ir(>- 
priety and ease remarkable in one for whom the language was not 
a natural inheritance but a laborious acquisition. An (illicial rec- 
ord of his attainnuMifs inadc^ liy hi.s .Tesuit superiors noles his ac- 


reached Chicago Friday, March 30, and was installed 
in St. :\lary's Cathedral on April 1, Palm Sunday.* 
On July 25 following his installation at Chicago, 
Bishop Van do Velde started off on his first extended 
visitation of the diocese. Though it lasted but five 
weeks, he visited twenty-two different places, confii-niing, 
preaching and discharging other episcopal duties with 
every token of apostolic zeal. At Prairie de Rocher, 
in the course of this visitation, he exhumed the remains 
of Father Sebastian Meurin, last survivor of the prc- 
suppression Jesuits of the Mississippi Valley and had 
them conveyed to the cemetery of the »>esuit Novitiate 
at Florissant in Missouri. ''Avhcre." as he wrote, 
"exists the first cemetery of the restored Society in 
the AVest, a beautiful spot, and where his precious 
remains reposing near those of Fathers Van Quicken- 
borne, Timmermans, De Theux and others will form 
the connecting link between the suppressed and revived 
Destitution jj^ ^ letter addressed under date of December 13, 
1849, to the French Association for the Propagation of 
the Faith, Bishop Van de Velde sketched briefly but 
graphically the widespread poverty and spiritual desti- 
tution he had encountered in his first visitation of the 
diocese : 

of the 

quaintanco also with French, Flemish, Gorman, Spanish and 

^Bishop Van de Velde 's Diary in McGovekx, The Catholic 
Church in Chicago, p. 101. 

'Letter of Van de Velde in Freeman's Journal, September 
15, 1849, cited in Clark, Lives of the Deceased Bishops of the 
United States, 2: 381. 


"Since my consecration, I have visited almost a third of 
my diocese. This episcopal tour of inspection, equivalent to 
a journey of twelve hundred French leagues, has revealed to 
me in all its extent the misery of the flock entrusted to me. 
You will form an idea of it, gentlemen, from this passing 
glimjise, the heart-rending accuracy of which I have verified 
with m}' own eyes. 

In general, the emigrants who come to these parts and who 
make up almost the entire Catholic population, are not in a 
position to supply even their own wants. Poverty is so great 
that there is not a single parish, even among those longest 
established, which is sufficiently provided wdth the necessary 
equipment for the celebration of the sacred rites. A single 
priest has sometimes eight parishes to attend and as he has 
for those various stations only one chalice, one missal, one 
chasuble, one alb, one altar-stone, he must perforce carry all 
these articles with him, however long and distressing be the 
way. As to monstrances and ciboria, such things are almost 
unknown in the diocese. Thus far, in all the parishes, ranging 
through 3,700 English miles, which I have \asited, I have seen 
only three monstrances and five ciboria. In default of sacred 
vessels they reserve the Blessed Sacrament in a corporal or 
else in a tinbox or porcelain cup. 

After these details I think it superfluous to give you a 
description of my episcoj^al residence. It is on a par with 
everything else. I don't know whether it is the humblest in 
the world, but at least certain it is that none poorer is to be 
found in America." ^ 

Nothing reveals more pointedly the zeal and energy Bishop 
which Bishop Van de Velde brought to the discharge of ^«^'*^ 

Velde s 

his official duties than the manner in which he performed Dianj 
at intervals the visitation of his diocese. For one of 
his advancing years and uncertain health these periodic 
journeys up and down the State, however consoling 
from an apostolic standpoint, were by no means pleasant 

' Annales de la Propagation de la Foi, 22 : 311 


experiences from the standpoint of personal convenience 
and comfort. By river packet, stage, carriage, "miid- 
AVagon," and towards the end, occasionly by railroad, 
the Bishop made his way to the Catholic settlements 
scattered through Illinois often in the most out-of-the- 
way and almost inaecessil)lc localities.'^ Certain graphic 
entries in his Dianj help ns to understand the strenuous, 
uncomfortahle side of these apostolic visitations: 

"[1849] June 7th. Tlie Bishop of Chicago arrived at 
Galena, having performed the whole journey from the Aux- 
phiines River in a mud-wagon, in which he spent two days 
and nearly two nights. 

September 25th. Said JMass again at Bourbonnais and 
left for the South; several members of the Congregation ac- 
companied me in carriages and on horseback to the other side 
of the Kankakee river, with the Pastor at their head. Passed 
through immense prairies; dined at Middleport, county seat 
of Iroquois county; thence through ^lilford, and slept at 
Bartholomew's tavern. 

September 26th. Reached Danville where we dined and 
found but two Catholic families. After dinner started for 
Paris where we arrived at 10 o'clock p. m., having this day 
travelled 72 miles through prairies. 

October 11th. Said Mass and left with a troop of liorse- 
men for Taylorsville ; stopped at Ewington, countj'-seat of 
EfUngham. The people agreed to buy a lot and promised to 
build a church on it. Passed through Shelbyville. but one 
Catholic there from Lorraine. Slept at a farm-house six 
miles further on. 

'At the time of Bishop Quartor's death not a single railroad 
led out of Chicago. The first railroad to connect the city Avith 
outside points, the Galena and Chicago Union, the germ of the 
present Northwestern System, was Iniilt in the fall of 1848. In 
the following spring Bishop Van do Velde made the trip from 
St. Louis to Chicago by river-packet and stage to be installed in 
his episcopal see. 


October 14tb. Sunday. [Springfield.] Said first Mass 
and preached at the last; no choir now, no first Communion 
nor Confirmations; the children not being sufficiently in- 
structed. No Vespers, no evening service, and this is the 
CajDital of the State ! Low frame church, St. John the Bap- 
tist, 60 by 27. Spent the whole evening and part of the next 
morning hearing the confessions of the Germans. 

October 15th. At 9 o'clock said Mass for the Germans. 
Forty of them received communion, most of whom for want 
of a German priest had not approached the Sacrament for the 
last four years. 

[1850] June 16th. Fourth Sunday after Pentecost. Said 
Mass in the unfinished church of Mt. Sterling; immense crowd 
of people, chiefiy Protestants. Confirmation to thirty-five 
persons; could find no dinner in town. In the evening left 
for Mr. Doyle's (on the way to Quincy) where we spent the 

[1851 J November 10th. Left McHenry for Marengo, 
and there took the stage for Galena; overset and was near 
being killed. 

[1853] July 14th. Visited Pittsfield with Rev. James 
Dempsey of Quincy, after dinner went and took steam-boat 
at Florence for Calhoun. 

July 15th. During the night landed amid thunder, rain 
and vivid lightning, at Lejarlier thoroughly wet and covered 
with mud ; staid [sic] till noon and set out for Mr. McDonald's 
in a rough wagon without springs, over stones and gullies ; 
after dinner (16th) left McDonald's for the church in a rough 
wagon. Found Father Verreydt at the church, slept about 
four miles from it on the road." 

To the four churches, St. Mary's, St. Patrick's, St. cim^-chof 
Joseph's, and St. Peter's and the chapel of the Holy j^r„„jg 
Name in which the Catholics of Chicago were worshiping 
when Bishop Van de Velde arrived among them, others 
were added during the period of his episcopate. At the 
corner of Cass and Superior Streets, this being the 
southeastern extremity of the grounds of the University 


of St. !Mary of the Lake, a small frame church of the 
Holy Name was commenced bj' Father AVilliam J. Kin- 
sella in 1848 and opened for services November 18, 1849. 
As the building soon proved inadequate to hold the 
growing number of North-side Catholics, a second 
church was built by Fathci- Kinsella in 1851 on State 
Street between Superior and Huron. Though enlarged 
in 1852, the second church of the Holy Name was, like 
its predecessor, very shortly found to be unequal to the 
needs of the parish, which comprised all the English- 
speaking Catholics of the North Side. Accordingly, on 
August 3, 1853, Bishop Van de Yelde laid the corner- 
stone of a new and spacious edifice of brick on ground 
at the south-east corner of State and Superior Streets. 
It was Gothic in style, measured 84x190 feet and was 
to cost $100,000 when completed. Work on it was far 
enough advanced by the Christmas of 1854 to permit 
of services being held in it on that day. This noble 
structure, one of Chicago's earliest monuments of 
ecclesiastical architecture, was swept away in the fire 
of October, 1871.« 
St. Michael's Meanwhile, the German Catholics of the North Side 
were showing an increase in numbers parallel to that 
of their English-speaking co-religionists. In 1851 they 
nund^ered sixty families and their church, St. Joseph's, 
at tlie north-east corner of Chicago Avenue and Cass 
Street, no longer answered to their needs. As immi- 
grants of their race were beginning to settle thickly in 
tlic district about North Avenue, a mile above St. 
Joseph's, the project of a new parish on their behalf 
was now taken up. At a meeting of the parishioners 

* Andreas, nistory of Chicago, 1: 297. 


of St. Joseph's, June 20, 1852, presided over by the 
pastor, Reverend Anthony Kopp, steps were taken 
toward the organization of the new parish. Michael 
Diversey, one of the most well-to-do of the attendants 
at St. Joseph's, whose name is perpetuated in one of 
Chicago's splendid boulevards, donated a lot 871/2x130 
feet, at the north-west corner of North Avenue and 
Church Street, he being the owner of fourteen acres of 
land in that localit.y The sum of $750 having been 
collected from the members of the new parish, a church 
of frame was erected at the cost of $730 on Mr. Diver- 
sey 's lot and dedicated by Father Kopp under the title, 
St. Michael's, on October 19, 1852. Father Kopp 
remained temporary pastor of the church until the ap- 
pointment in November, 1852, of Father August 
Kroemer. A school was opened in 1853, the old church 
being used for school purposes after the erection of a 
new brick church at the corner of Hurlburt and Eugenia 
Streets. Among the donations received for the pur- 
chase of a lot on which to build a presbytery was one 
of $240 from Cardinal Reisach of Munich. In Febru- 
ary, 1860, St. Michael's parish passed into the hands 
of the Redemptorist Fathers.'' 

In 1853 the German Catholics of the West Side, G^^rchof 

St. Francis 

numbering about fifty families, were organized into a ofAssisi 
parish. A church for their use, named for St. Francis 
of Assisi, was built at the corner of Mather and Clinton 
Streets and dedicated August 15 of that year by Bishop 
Van de Velde. It was of frame, had a seating capacity 
of 400 and cost some $2,000. Its first pastor was Father 
John Bernard Weikamp, who remained in charge until 

' Andreas, op. cit., 1 : 275. 


1855. In 1867 the parish built a spacious church of 
brick on West Twelfth Street and Newberry Avenue. 
The ohl clnirch thereupon began under the title of St. 
Paul's to serve the needs of the numerous English- 
speaking Catholics resident in its vicinity.^" 
^'ew Late in 1853 old St. Peter's church at the corner 

of Washington and Wells Streets was moved to the 
southwest corner of Clark and Polk Streets, following 
the parishioners who were for the most part no longer 
to be found in the crowded business district that had 
gro^nl up around the original site. The first ^lass in 

St. Peter's 

" Andreas, op. cit., 1 : 297. Father "Wcikamp, who liad been 
pastor of the old St. Peter's during the period 1850-1853, resigned 
this post owing to chronic difficulties with his trustees. With 
means which he had in part brought with him from Europe and 
in part collected in Cliicago, he undertook the building of a 
churcli and community-house for a Third Order of St. Francis, 
which he had established while at St. Peter's. The church, named 
for St. Francis of Assisi, was built at Clinton and Mather Streets. 
Retiring hither in the summer of 1853 he was followed by a 
group of pious souls of both sexes, who chose to live in poverty, 
cliastity and obedience under his directions, according to the 
spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. With permission of the Bishop, 
Fatlier Weikamp organized a German parish in connection with 
tlio new church, which was to be without trustees, as it was the 
property of the religious community for which it was primarily 
Iniilt. In the fall of 1855 Father Weikamp, at the invitation of 
Bishop Baraga of Sault-Ste-Marie, transferred his community to 
the Indian Mission of Arbre Croche in ^lichigan. On leaving 
Chicago he put his church up for sale, an action which elicited 
protest on the part of Bishop O 'Regan. The affair was subse- 
quently settled by correspondence between Bishops O 'Regan and 
Baraga, and in January, 1857, the church of St. Francis was 
reopened with Father Gaspar H. Ostlangenbcrg as pastor. Illinois 
Catholic Historical Bcview, 3:57, art. Eevercnd Gaspar Henry 
Ostlangenberg by Rev. F. G. Holweck. 



St. Peter's after its removal to the new location was 
celebrated on Christmas Day, 1853, by the pastor, 
Father G. W. Plathe. The thirty families that made up 
the parish at its organization in 1846 had now grown 
to one hundred and fifty.^^ 

A new site was also found in tliis same year, 1853, ^'ew 
for St. Patrick's Church. On Trinity Sunday, May 22, ^^■^''^'■''^'^ 
Bishop Van de Velde laid the corner-stone of the im- 
posing brick edifice, 154x70, which the congregation had 
undertaken to build at the north-west corner of Des- 
plaines and Adams Streets, three blocks south of the 
original church site. 

The French-speaking element that made up the ma- French 
jority of Father St. Cyr's parishioners in 1833 was 
depleted through the migration westward of the French 
mixed-bloods and their Potawatomi kinsfolk. How 
radically the racial complexion of St. Mary's parish had 
been transformed as early as 1837 is evidenced by the 
fact that the petition addressed by its members in that 
year to Bishop Eosati to retain Father St. Cyr contains 
only six or eight French names, the remainder of the 
hundred and fifty names affixed to the document being 
Irish ■^^ith Imt few exceptions. But in the 'forties and 
'fifties a new French element was substituted for the 
old one through the arrival in Chicago of numerous 
French-Canadians who came to settle down in the 
thriving young metropolis. The first priest ordained by 
Bishop Van de Velde, Father Louis Hoey, the ceremony 
taking place April 22, 1849, was immediately assigned 
to the duty of looking after the French-Canadians in 
and around the city. By November, 1850, steps were 

Andreas, op. cii., 1: 294. 



<Clmrch of 
JSt. Louis 


being takon to i)i'ovi(le tlicni with a clmrch of their own, 
at which time Father Isidore Lcljel, lately arrived from 
Canada, was assigned to care for them. Bishop Van de 
Velde notes in his Diary for January 1, 1851, tliat High 
Mass' at the Cathedral was sung ])y Reverend J. A. 
Lebel, "who also preached in French, as the majority 
of those who attended were French and Canadians. The 
Mass was executed by the French choir with general 

In the course of 1851 Father Lebel began the erection 
of a church, under the invocation of St. Louis, on the 
cast side of Clark Street, between Jackson and Adams, 
on ground leased from Captain Biglow, where now the 
great Federal Building rises in massive grandeur. The 
building, a low frame structure 25x75, cost $3,000, two- 
thirds of which sum was contributed by Mr. P. F. 
Rofinot, one of the parishioners. In 1852 the church 
w^as renovated and in the words of a press-notice of the 
day "decorated interioi-Iy in the neatest and most appro- 
priate manner and with the taste and artistic effect 
which are natural to the French." It was blessed by 
Bishop Van de Velde January 16, 1853. A few years 
later it was moved from the leased ground on Avhich it 
had been erected to the corner of Polk and Sherman 

Parochial schools, first introduced into Chicago by 
Bisho]) Quarter, increased in number under his suc- 
cessor. The l)oys' and girls' schools attached to St. 

"Bishop Van do Velde 's Diary. 

" Bishop Vau de Velde had a fondness for giving measure- 
ments of churehes in exact figures. His report in the Catholic 
Almanac for 1853 gives the material and dimensions of practically 
every church in the diocese. 


Mary's Cathedral were the earliest of their kind. The 
boys' school has a particularly interesting history. We 
have seen above that "St. Mary's College," the nucleus 
from which was to develop the future University of 
St. Mary of the Lake, was opened in the old St. Mary's 
Church, June 3, 1844, by Bishop Quarter only a month 
later than his arrival in the city. In 1846 the new 
University buildings were occupied and the old church 
building was thereupon vacated. In 1848 there was 
opened in the latter St. Joseph's Academy for boys 
under the direction and superintendence of the Presi- 
dent and Professors of the University. Boys whose 
circumstances would otherwise prevent them from ob- 
taining a "high-school" education were here to receive 
"an opportunity to prepare themselves for the various 
business departments of life."^* John A. Hampston, 
a seminarian was prefect and manager of the Academy, 
which was also intended to serve as a preparatory school 
for the undergraduate course of the University. In 1851 
the institution appears as St. Joseph's Free ScJiool for 
Boys with upwards of forty pupils in attendance. 
"This school is kept in South Chicago near the Bishop's 
residence and is taught by two young men daily sent 
from the University. "^^ In 1854 the parochial char- 
acter of the school was fully recognized. "St. Joseph's 
Free ScJiool for Boys is kept in an old frame building 
(formerly the only church in Chicago) in the rear of 
the lot on which the Bishop has hitherto resided. It 
belongs to the Cathedral parish as also St. Mary's Free 

"Metropolitan Catliolic Almanac, 1849, p. 135. 
^" Id., 1851, p. 154. 


School for Girls, kept by the Sisters of Mercy in tlie 
rear of the Cathedral. "^'^ 

St. ]^Iary's parish school for girls dated from about 
November, 1847, wlien a portion of the old church built 
by Father St. Cyr was detached and moved to the 
south side of Madison Street west of AVabash Avenue 
and in the immediate rear of the new St. Mary's. 
Known first as St. iMary's Second Day School to dis- 
tinguish it from the select First Day School attached to 
the Boarding Academy of St. Xavier, St. Mary's Free 
School for Girls numbered in 1848 , as many as 148 
pupils. It shares with St. Mary's parish school for 
boys the distinction of being the first in historical suc- 
cession of the long and splendid line of parochial 
schools which the sacrifices of Catholic clergy and laity 
through seventy years ha^'c built up in the metropolis 
of Illinois. 

The third parochial school was the one opened in 
1850 for the cliildrcn of the Holy Name parish in a 
rented frame house adjoining St. Mary's Female Or- 
phan Asylum on North Clark Street. Instruction was 
given by tlic Sisters of j\Iercy, the teachers residing at 
the Asylum and later at the IMotherhouse on AVabash 
Avenue. In the first year of the school, wliich was 
named ^7. James' Free Scliool, the teachers numbered 
three and the pupils one hundred and thii'ty. Both 
boys and girls were apparently in attendance, but in 
1854 the two departments were conducted separately. 
"North Chicago — Boys' Free Scliool of the Holy Name 
is kept on the lot owned by the Bishop, opposite the 
University, and is under the care of the priests of the 

" Id., 1854, p. 158. 


parish. St. James' Free School for Girls also belongs 
to the Congregation of the Holy Name and is kept in 
a frame building rented for the purpose on North Clark 
Street. It is taught by three Sisters of Mercy, who 
reside on the North Side."^" 

The last year of Bishop Van de Velde's residence 
in Chicago, 1853, saw the number of free or parochial 
schools grow to the considerable total of twelve. St. 
Patrick's Free School for Boys had been started at 
Desplaines and Adams Streets alongside the new church 
then in process of construction, while a Girls' School 
was about to be opened on property adjoining the old 
church site on Desplaines near Randolph. The French 
parish of St. Louis had its school in the old St. Peter's 
school-house after the erection in 1853 of the new 
St. Peter's at Clark and Polk. Nor were the German 
parishes behind-hand in providing educational facilities 
for their children. At the beginning of 1851 schools, 
"partly free and partly paying" were attached to 
St. Peter's on the South Side, to St. Joseph's and St. 
Michael's on the North Side and to St. Francis' on the 
West Side.^*^ The schools of the parish of St. Francis 
were taught by "Brothers and Sisters of the Tliird Or- 
der of St. Francis who live in separate communities near 
the church."^'-' The only parish school in the diocese 
outside of Chicago at this period appears to have been 

'' Id., 1854, p. 158. 

^^ John Kribler was the first teacher of St. Peter's School and 
Joseph Stonimel of St. Joseph's School. Andreas, op. cit., 1: 
294, 295. 

'^^Metropolitan Catholic Almanac, 1854, p. 159. See note 10, 



the one opened in 1853 by the Sisters of ]\Icrcy in St. 
Mary's parish, Galena.-" 
Orphan During the summer and early autumn following 

Bishop Van de Velde's arrival in Chicago the dread 
Asiatic Cholera was daily taking toll of its people and 
an ever-increasing number of Catholic orphans and 
half-orphans were being left to the charity of the 
diocese. To provide a refuge for these destintute chil- 
dren became the need of the moment, which the Bishop 
set himself promptly to relieve. Pending tlio time whvn 
a common home could be provided on their ])ehalf, a 
number of orphan boys were lodged in a house on the 
Bishop's premises, while the gii-ls wei'c 1x)arded with 
private families at the Bishop's expense.-^ On Sunday, 
August 5, 1849, the latter announced to the congrega- 
tion of St. Mary's Cathedral that he had rented a 
house for the use of the orphans.-- On August 16, 
Sister Vincent McGirr and three other Sisters from 
the Chicago Convent of the Sisters of ^Nlercy. lo whose 
management the new institution was to be entrusted, 
moved into the "Female Orphan Asylum" on Wal)ash 
Avenue. At a meeting of the Catholic clergy of Chicago, 

^" At loast no otlior }>aio('hial schools outside of Chicago are 
listed in the Catholic Almanac for these years. 

■'^Metropolitan Catholic Almanac, 1850. Between July 23 and 
August 28, 1849, 1000 cases of cholera with 314 deaths were 
reported in Chicafjo. The cholera raged at the same time in 
St. Louis, leaving- in its wake, as in Chicago, a large numl)er of 
Catholic orphans, to provide for whom St. Vincent's German 
Catholic Orphan Asylum was established. 

--Bishop Van de Velde's Diary. According to Andreas, op. 
cit., 279, the Cumberland House, at the southwest corner of 
Wabash Avenue and Van Buren Street, was rented for tlie use of 
the orj^hans. 


held September 11, plans were formulated for the 
financing of the Asylum. The management of the affair 
was left to the Bishop, who was to appoint committees 
of priests and lay-people to undertake the collection of 
the necessary funds among the parishes; and the re- 
sults attained at the clerical gathering were com- 
municated on the following day to the Catholic laity 
at a meeting of that body. On this occasion or some- 
what later was organized the Orphan Asylum Associa- 
tion, the members of w^hich were assessed the very 
modest sum of twelve and one-half cents monthly. 

Having in September, 1850, purchased three forty- 
foot lots on the west side of Wabash Avenue between 
Jackson and Van Buren Streets, Bishop Van de Velde 
immediately signed a contract with Peter Page, for the 
erection thereon at a cost of $1000 of a three-story 
building of brick with stone-foundation, fifty feet front 
by forty in depth. Augustine D. Taylor, the builder of 
Chicago's first Catholic churches, received the contract 
for the wood-work.-^ "The Bishop has appropriated to 
it all the monies he has on hand and all he expects 
to receive before the end of the year, amounting to 
almost $2500, and relies upon Providence for the balance 
of $1500, which is to be paid on the first day of next 
January. This building, however, will afford shelter 
only to the female orphans; the boys will have to 
remain in a small rented frame building until the Bishop 
shall be able to obtain means to build two orphan 
asylums. ' ' 

The cost of the new building, surprisingly low if 
measured by present-day standards, was not easily met. 

■^ McGovERX, The Catholic Church in Chicago, p. 129. 


Fairs hold at the City Hall netted $1100, while the 
Bishoj) conti'ilmted $1400. The roiiiainin<^ $1500 were 
to 1)C obtained throiigli sul)scri])tions solicited by a coni- 
mittee of Catholic ladies and ^-enUeinen of the city, '"(^n 
February 16, 1851, the orphans havin<; taken posses- 
sion of the New Asylum, a donation party was given, 
though the weather was unfavorable. Several i)eople 
attended and about $100 was obtained in cash, besides 
tlour, groceries and some dry goods." (Bishop ^'an 
de Yelde's Diary.) 

The report of the Orphan Asylum issued in Janu- 
ary, 1853, notes that almost three years and a half had 
passed since the Sisters of INlercy first devoted them- 
selves to the care of the Catholic orphans left in the 
wake of the great cholera visitation of the summer and 
autumn of 1849. During 1852 eighty-two children had 
been maintained in the two departments of the Asylum 
at a cost of only $32 per child, thanks to the rigid 
economies practiced by the good Sisters in charge who, 
moreover, contributed their services gratis to this work 
of mercy. The three-story brick building erected in 1850 
was reserved at this time to the boys, while the girls 
occupied a frame house standing on one of the two 
lots on Wabash Avenue purchased by the Bishop. 
"From the financial report it will appear that neither 
of the asylums has any permanent fund or revenue, 
and that for the support of the children we are entirely 
dependent on Divine Providence, and upon tlie charity 
of our benevolent citizens. Stem necessity compels us 
to lun-c I'ccourse to fairs and tea-parties, which would 
not be the case if sufficient means for their su]i]iort 


could be procured through other channels."-* Before 
the end of 1853, a brick building for the girls to cost 
$8000 had been commenced. Sisters and orphans in 
1849 numbered 5 and 125 respectively, and in 1863, 
16 and 200 respectively. In the last named year the 
Sisters of ]\Iercy relinquished charge of the Asylum into 
the hands of the Sisters of St. Joseph. 

The heroic services rendered by the Sisters of jMercy 
in the cholera visitations of 1849 and 1854 did not 
escape public notice and appreciation. Speaking of the 
former the standard history of Chicago notes that "a 
few physicians and (as a rule in such calamities) some 
Catholic priests and Sisters of Charity remained to 
care for those who otherwise would have been thrown 
upon the streets or be placed under the guardianship 
of the public authorities. ' '-*'' In the epidemic of 1854, 
at the crisis of which the deaths averaged sixty daily. 
Sister Mary Agatha, Superioress of the Chicago com- 
munity of the Sisters of Mercy, having contracted the 

=^ McGovERN, op.eit., p. 172. Seport of the Orplian Asylums 
Under the Care of the Sisters of Mercy, Chicago, Illinois (Janu- 
ary, 1853). ''The lots, 110 by 180 on Wabasli Avenue, where the 
two Orphan Asylums are kept and the new three-story house at 
present occupied by the male orphans, was built chiefly at the 
Bishop's expense, aided by a collection made for the purpose in 
the city of New York, and by the charitable contribution made 
by some of our citizens. The frame house, at present occupied by 
the female children, stands on one of the lots bought by the 
Bishop and is much too small and too incommodious for the 
purpose for which it is used. It was the Bishop 's intention to 
erect a building for them equal in size and dimensions to the 
one occupied by the male orphans." 

-^^ Andreas, op. cit., 1 : 596. 


disease on a visit to a destitute siek family, succiniil)od 
to it, a martyr of charity. 
^ercy With the beginnings of Merev Hospital in Chicago 

Hospital ,1 P T\- t t-r -, ~r-r 

the name of Bishop \an de Velde stands in intimate 
connection. Before him Bishop Quarter had cherished 
the project of a Catholic hospital in the chief city of 
his diocese, but his untimely death intervened before 
the project could be realized. To his successor was to 
come the opportunity to inaugurate this great work of 
Christian charity. Already in September, 1850, Bishop 
Van de Velde had announced his intention of building 
a hospital, though "such was the destitution of the 
Catholics of the city that he must almost exclusively 
depend upon Providence for the means of erecting it. ' '-^ 
As a preliminary step to the venture, application 
was made at Springfield for a charter of incorporation 
of Mercy Hospital, which Avas issued in 1852. ]\rcan- 
time, pending the erection of a building of tlieir 
own, opportunity was afforded the Sisters of Mercy 
to engage without further delay in tlie hospital 
service they so eagerly desired. Late in 1850 the 
trustees of the Illinois General Hospital of the Lake, a 
private non-denominational institution chartered in 
1849, were soliciting from the public subscriptions to 
the aggregate amount of $5000. which modest sum was 
deemed sufficient to place the hospital on an operative 
basis. JMoreover, they announced a course of paid 
lectures of a popular character by Dr. Nathan Smith 
Davis, the proceeds to go to the support of the new 
hospital. This was opened November 23, 1850, in the 
old Lake House, a three-story brick l)uildinff at the 

-'^ McGovEKN, op. cit., p. 129. 


corner of Michigan and Rush Streets erected in 1835 
at a reputed cost of $100,000. The capacity of the 
hospital at its opening was only twelve beds, the 
patients being charged at the nominal rate of $2 or $3 
a week.^® In February, 1851 the management of the 
hospital was assumed by the Sisters of IMercy, as Bishop 
Van de Velde notes in his Diary. 

"1851 Feb. 23d, Washington's Birthday. Just received 
the news from Springfield that the act had passed to incor- 
porate the Mercy Hospital and the Mercy Orphan Asylum. 
Four Sisters of Mercj^ were sent to take charge of the tem- 
porary hospital opened at the Lake House. [Act did not 
Ijass the Lower House.] 

27th. Articles of agreement drawn up and signed with 
respect to the services of the Sisters at the Lake House Hos- 
pital, and the arrangements for erecting a Hospital under our 
new charter at some future period, to be commenced, if pos- 
sible, this year." ^'^ 

It was not until 1853 that the Sisters of Mercy were 
enabled to establish a hospital under their own auspices. 
Withdrawing in June of that year from the Illinois 
General Hospital of the Lake, which was thereupon 
discontinued, they attended for a while the patients in 
the County Hospital in Tippecanoe Hall at the south- 

-^ Andreas, op. cit., 1: 578. 

-' McGovERN, op. cit., p. 144. The Hospital cared for 220 
patients during the year February 20, 1851-February 20, 1852. 
The Metropolitan Catholic Almanac for the years 1852, 1853, con- 
tinues to give the Lake House as the quarters of Mercy Hospital. 
According to Bishop Van de Velde 's Diary the Orphan Asylum 
building on Wabash Avenue was first occupied by Mercy Hos- 
pital in October, 1853. That the Hospital was moved from the 
Lake House as late as June, 1853, is stated by Andreas. 


east corner of State and Kinzie Streets and then opened 
Mercy Hospital in the recently erected building of St. 
Mary's Female Orphan Asylum on Wabash Avenue, 
between Jackson and Van Buren. Here JNIercy Hos- 
pital remained until 1863, when new quarters were 
found for it in the St. Agatha's Academy building 
at the northwest corner of Calumet Avenue and Twenty- 
Sixth Street, 

Between the Easter of 1853 and his departure from 
Chicago for Natchez the following November, Bishop 
Van de Velde visited nearly every Catholic congregation 
and settlement in the state, travelling during that i)eriod 
over six thousand miles and administering Confirmation 
to nearly thirty-six hundred persons in fifty-eight differ- 
ent localities. While he occupied the See of Chicago, 
seventy churches were commenced in different localities 
of the diocese, of which number sixty were either en- 
tirely finished or so far finished as to be in use for 
divine service. Fifty-three were built in places where 
before there had been no church at all and seventeen 
in i:)laces where old and small chapels were re})laced liy 
more ])retcnti()us structures. Of the eighteen churches 
in course of erection in the fall of 1853, thirteen were 
being built of brick, all of the edifices being of very 
respectable size and some one hundred and fifty long and 
sixty feet wide. Besides these cluii'ches, all l)egun under 
liishoj) Van de Velde, eleven others that had l)oen l)egun 
before his accession were brought to com])letion under 
him and l)y his exertions. The entire number of 
churclies left by him in Illinois was one hundred and 

•" Western TahUt, October, 1853. A count of the priests of 


Bishop Van de Velde had occupied the see of Chi- 
cago but a brief span of four years and a half when at 
his own request he was transferred to the see of Natchez. 
It was with extreme reluctance, and only after being 
assured that the appointment could not be conscien- 
tiously refused that he had consented to shoulder the 
burden of the episcopate. As soon as free communica- 
tion with the Holy See was re-established after the 
revolutionary disorders of 1848, he wrote to the Holy 
See tendering his resignation on the plea of his ad- 
vancing years, the feeble state of his health which was 
sorely tried by the severities of the northern climate in 
which he was compelled to reside, and his very earnest 
desire to assume again the simple life of a Jesuit. No 
action was taken by the Holy See on his petition other 
than to encourage him, through Cardinal Fransoni, 
Prefect of the Propaganda, to bear his burden with 
patience and resignation. Having later become involved 
in difficulties with a few of his clergy over the title to 
certain pieces of ecclesiastical property, which they 
were retaining in their own name, he wrote again to 
Rome, adding this to the reasons he had previously 
urged in favor of his resignation. He was answered that 
his petition would be submitted to the prelates of the 
First Plenary Council of Baltimore, which was to con- 
vene in the Spring of 1852. The Council declined to 
accept the Bishop's resignation, though, with a view to 
relieving him of a part of the extensive territory en- 

the Chicago diocese according to liirthplace for the last year of 
Bishop Van de Velde 's administration gave the following inter- 
esting figures : Ireland, 29 ; Germany, 12 ; Alsace-Loraine, 7 ; 
France, 3 ; Scotland, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Italy, 2 each ; 
Spain, United States, 1 each. 


trusted to his charge, it decided to recoinnieiul to the 
Holy See the division of the State of Illinois into two 
dioceses, the see of the southern portion to be fixed at 

As Bishop Van de Velde had purposed visiting 
Europe on the dissolution of the Council, tlie i)relates 
assembled commissioned him to bear the decrees of 
the Council to Pius IX in liome. Here he personally 
urged with the Holy Father the acceptance of his resig- 
nation or at least his api)ointmjent as Coadjulor or 
Auxiliary to another Bishop, that being thus relieved 
of his status as Ordinary he might more easilj' secure 
his readmission into the Society of Jesus.^'^ The Holy 
Father after consultation with the Propaganda declined 
to accept his resignation but assured him at a second 
audience that he would make arrangements with the 
Father General to have him restored to the Society of 
Jesus and would probably transfer him to another see 
in a more genial climate. A few days later Monsignor 
Barnabo, Secretary of the Propaganda, informed the 
Bishop that the Holy Father had refused to accept his 
resignation, but would insist on his being readmitted 
into his Order even as titular Bishop and would, more- 

"" Bishop Van do Veklc's Autol)iographi("al M( )itvir []\Is.]. 
St. Louis University Arcliivcs. 

''' Avclil)isliop Kcnrick of St. Louis desired to recommend to 
the Holy See tlie appointment of Lislio]) A'an de \'( Ide as his 
coadjutor rinii Jiirr .siicc: ssiotii.s ; but the hitter, wiien the ,\.rch- 
hishoji intimated to him suidi desire, oljjected strongly on the 
ground that he would Iw thus debarred from re-entering the 
Society of Jesus. Bishop Van de Velde communicated this in- 
formation to Father Do Smet in a letter \vritt(Mi to the latter from 


over, transfer him to another see.^^ He declared that 
this decision of the Pope was final and could be relied 
upon, and he counselled the Bishop to take his choice 
of one of the new American dioceses that were soon to 
be erected. 

Returning from Europe late in 1852, Bishop Van Transfer of 
de Velde arrived in Chicago in December of that year. y^J'^^ 
Fear lest his nomination to one of the new American veide 
sees might cause unpleasantness led him to write to the *" ^'"^^'^^^ 
Holy See shortly after his return suggesting his trans- 
fer to the see of Natchez in Mississippi, which had 
become vacant by the death of its first Bishop, the 
Right Rev. J. J. Chanche.^- His petition was granted. 
AVhile engaged in laying the corner-stone of a church 
in Carlyle, Clinton County, word reached him that the 
Brief appointing him to the see of Natchez had arrived 
in St. Louis. By the same mail the Very Rev. Joseph 
Melcher, Vicar-General of St. Louis, received a Brief 
erecting Quincy into an episcopal see and appointing 
him its first Bishop as also Administrator of Chicago 
pending the appointment of a successor to Bishop Van 
de Velde. Father Melcher 's refusal to accept the ap- 
pointment to the new see left the two dioceses of Quincy 
and Chicago vacant and unprovided for. In this emerg- 
ency. Bishop Van de Velde was requested by Archbishop 
Kenrick of St. Louis, Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical 
Province, to assume temporary administration of the 
two dioceses. This he did until by appointment of 

^^ Bishop Van de Velde was I'eadmitted into the Society of 
Jesus by the Father-General, John Roothaan. 

^- The diocese of Natchez at this period was almost if not 
quite the most inconsiderable in the country, numljering only nine 
priests, who attended eleven churches. 


Archbishop Kcnrick, Bishop I-Ienni of ^Milwaukee became 
administrator of Chicago, while the Archbishop of St. 
Louis took over himself the administration of the diocese 
of Quincy. Free now to withdraw from Chicago to his 
new see, Bishop Van de Velde took leave of the people 
whose spiritual destines he had directed during the pre- 
vious four years and a half. In a farewell address deliv- 
ered at the end of High Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral on 
Sunday, October 30, 1853, he frankly detailed the cir- 
cumstances that had influenced liini to petition the 
Holy See to be relieved of his duties as Bishop of 
Chicago. He left the city November 4 for Natchez.^^ 

^' Bishop Van de Vclde died at Xatclicz, Xov(>mlicr 13, 1855. 
A few weeks before his death he had met with an accident which 
resulted in a broken leg; and while in this crippled condition 
contracted yellow fever, which was epidemic at the time. Father 
Peter Tschieder, S. .J ., subseciuently assistant-pastor for many 
years of the Holy Family church, Chicago, who attended Bishop 
Van de Velde in his last days, detailetl the circumstances of the 
prelate's death in letters to his Superior, Father William Stack 
Murphy, S. J., of St. Louis. 

''Xovember, 1S55. Since Friday the Bishop has tlic yellow 
fever ar.d luunanly speaking there is no hope of his recovery. 
He has been sinking since this morning. You can imagine in 
what position I am — the young clergyman has also the yellow 
fever. Father Grignon is still at Vixbourg [Vicksburg] though 1 
telegraphed him as also the Ar.-hbishop of New Orleans. I had 
the painful duty of informing the Bishop of his critical situation. 
In the beginning he would scarcely believe it, but now he is 
perfectly rcsigmd. ]\o made his coiift^ssion twire, hist evening 
and this morning, and with such humility that I was over- 
powered and could scarcely pronounce the formula ahsolutionis ; 
he had to help m(> the first time. This afternoon I gave him 
Extreme Unction, as theic is no hope of his receiving the Blessed 
Sacrament. The Bishop is perfectly in his senses and answered 
himself to the prayers. From time to time I say some prayers 


In the departure of Bishop Van de Velde for an- 
other field of labor the diocese of Chicago lost an un- 
usually zealous and energetic worker in the vineyard of 
the Lord. Scholarly in all his tastes and mental habits, 
with a bent to studious retirement and an aversion for 
the publicity attendant on the conduct of ecclesiastical 
affairs, he did not permit his tendencies in this regard 
to stand in the way of a whole-souled and self-denying 
devotion to the episcopal tasks that fell to him on 
every side. Though beset by chronic bodily infirmities, 

with him. Happily I am not afraid of yellow fever — our Lord, 
who put me in this painful situation, has given me also courage 
enough to keep to the post assigned me. Without a miraculous 
intervention of St. Stanislaus, to whom the Bishop made a No- 
veiia, he cannot possibly recover." 

''November 13, 1855. Bishop Van de Vclde is dead. He 
expired this morning at 7. Two gentlemen watched and attended 
on him. At 2 o'clock in the night I was called — I said some 
prayers with the Bishop which he repeated — but his mind was 
wandering — he perceived it himself. At 2^2 violent spasms took 
him, probably the effect of a very strong medicine which he had 
taken. Inunediately he lost his senses and I gave him the last 
absolution and plenary indulgence. I began the recommendation 
of the soul. He was enabled to receive the viaticum which I could 
not give him yesterday. It was evidently a favor obtained 
through the intercession of St. Stanislaus. He had made a novena 
to the Saint — had several times expressed the wish to die on his 
feast. "Whilst I was saying Mass at 5 for him, all the Sisters and 
orphan girls, who had also made a Novena for him, received 
communion. Father Grignon gave him the Viaticum. He remained 
suffering till 7 when he expired. All that time the good Catholics 
were flocking to receive his last blessing; he gave it with full 
consciousness — he spoke even, though very indistinctly. The 
people appeared very much attached to him and the Catholic 
gentlemen showed great attention, day and night — they all regret 
the loss of their good Bishop." 


he did not decline the duty of the periodic visitation 
of his state-wide diocese, with its rough, unpleasant 
experiences in travelling, but performed it at intervals 
with unfailing energy and zeal. He built the first 
Catholic Orphan Asylum in Chicago, was largely in- 
strumental in establishing the city's first i\iercy Hospital 
and was at all times energetic and enterprising in pro- 
moting the erection of new churches and the organiza- 
tion of new parishes throughout the diocese. "He never 
rested from his labors," wrote a biographer, "and, 
when he finally departed from Chicago for Natchez, 
there were few indeed either of the clergy or laity, that 
did not sincerely regret the loss of such an apostolic 
prelate to the diocese of Chicago ; that there should have 
been even a few is one of the sad evidences of human 
weakness which the church has sometimes had occasion 
to lament. "3* 

'^Bishop Van de Vclde's romaiiis lie IruumI in tlic conictery 
of the Jesuit Novitiate, Florissant, Missouri. Claiuk, Jhciasal 
Bisho2)s of the United States, 2: 389. 

Rt. Rev. Anthony O 'Regan, tliiid bishoi^ of Chicago, 1854- 
1858. A native of Iiehand, he came to Chicago from Saint Louis 
where he had filled with distinction the office of President of the 
Theological 8cminarv at Carondelet. Transferred to Dora in 
partibus infideliinn in 1.S58, and died in London in 18G0. Painting 
by Gregori in the Bisho^js' Gallery, Notre Dame University. 



AVith the departure of Bishop Van de Velde for 
Natchez, the duties of administrator of the diocese of 
Chicago, at first taken up by Bishop Henni, were shortly 
relinquished by him into the hands of Reverend James 
Duggan of St. Louis, who continued to exercise them 
until the arrival in Chicago of Bishop 'Regan. 
Anthony 'Regan, born in Lavallevoe. County Mayo, 
Ireland, in 1809, was educated at Maynooth College and 
immediately after his ordination to the priesthood was 
appointed by Archbishop McHale of Tuani a professor 
in the diocesan College of St. Jarlath. Professor for 
ten years, he w^as subsequently for a period of five years 
president of that institution, achieving in his career a^ 
educator a success that made his name favorably knoAvn 
even in ecclesiastical circles across the Atlantic. At the 
invitation of Archbishop Kenrick of St. Louis, Father 
'Regan assumed in 1849 the presidency of the new 
Theological Seminary established by that enterprising 
prelate at Carondelet on the outskirts of St. Louis. 
Here he won high opinions on all sides for exemplary 
piety of life, scholarship and efficiency in the training 
of young men for the priesthood. Bishop Van de Velde 
knew him intimately and proposed to the other Bishops 
of the ecclesiastical province of St. Louis that he be 
recommended to the Holy See for the see of Chicago, 


Third Bishop 
of Chicago, 


made vacant by the transfer of Bishop Van de Velde 
to Natchez. AVhen the papal documents appointing him 
to this dignity came into his hands, he respectfully 
returned them to Rome, alleging his unfitness as a man 
of bookish and retired habits for the strenuous duties 
of an American bishopric. The appointment having 
been sent to him a second time, with, a mandate from 
the Holy Sec to accept. Father 'Regan submitted to 
consecration which he received in the Cathedral in St. 
Louis, July 25, 1854, at the hands of Archbishop Ken- 
rick, assisted by Bishops Van de Velde, Henni and 
Loras. Anxiety over the grave responsil)ilities thus 
thrust upon him induced a severe si)ell of nervous 
debility and it was not until Septem])cr 3 that he was 
installed in St. Clary's Cathedral. Chicago. 

Though lasting scarcely three years, Bishop 
'Regan's residence in Chicago saw numerous im- 
portant gains for Catholicity in the city and in the 
diocese generally. Under him were taken the first steps 
towards the organization of the new parish of St. James. 
At his earnest solicitation the Jesuits established them- 
selves in the city, where they organized the i)arish of 
the Holy Family, which in a few years counted on the 
roll-call of its parishioners probably a larger number of 
souls than any other English-speaking parish in the 
I'nited States. He acquired the extensive property on 
which was laid out the i)rescnt Calvary Cemetery, where 
after the lapse of over sixty years intermoiits still con- 
tinue to 1)0 made; and for the shabby little cottage in 
which Bishop Quarter and Van de Velde had lodged, 
he sul)stituted an ej^iscopal I'csidence of a style com- 
mensurate with the dignity of a great Catholic diocese. 
Built of marble and brick on property at the northwest 

BISHOP o'regax 169 

corner of ^Michigan Avenue and Madison Street, it was 
finished in 1856 and was reputed in its day one of the 
handsomest residences in the city. 

During the years that he presided over the diocesan Jesuit 
seminary of Carondelet, Bishop 'Regan had made pH^^^Zdin 
acquaintance wdth the Jesuits of St. Louis. From Chi- CMcago, isse 
cago he endeavored to secure their services in some 
permanent form for his diocese. Already in the spring 
of 1856 Father De Smet, the noted Indian missionary, 
informed a correspondent in California, ''Bishop 
'Regan offers us his college, with two churches. But 
where are the men?" In the summer of that same year 
Father Arnold Damen, pastor of the Jesuit church of 
St. Francis Xavier in St. Louis, assisted by three priests 
of his Order, conducted a series of missions or spiritual 
revivals in Chicago at the invitation of Bishop 'Regan. 
A communication under date of August 26. 1856, to the 
St. Louis Leader dwells on the very gratifying results 
that attended the efforts of the missionaries. The cor- 
respondent was Father Matthew Dillon, pastor of the 
Holy Name Church and president during the period 
January, 1855-August, 1856, of the University of St. 
]\Iary of the Lake. 

''The spiritual retreat which our Right Rev. Bishop has 
provided for the Catholics of this city has just now closed. 
For the last three weeks the exercises have been conducted 
by five Jesuit Fathers under the guidance of Father Damen. 
The fruits of their holy and successful labors are already 
manifest. Many Protestants have embraced the Catholic re- 
ligion, and the Catholics — to be counted by thousands — many, 
very many of whom had for years neglected their spiritual 
interests, crowded the churches and confessionals. 


The zeal, the piety and labors of Father Daraen and his 
assofiates, and his practifal and persuasive elofiuenoe, have 
won for these eminent servants of God the love and veneration 
of all our citizens, Protestant and Catliolie. From four in 
tiie morning until after midnight, these zealous Fathers and 
tiie i)aro('liial clergymen have been occuj)ied with tiie duties 
of religion, yet all this was insulTicient, sudi was the holy 
importunity of the pcoiilc wliom (Jod iiinvcd to prolit l)y their 

It is understood that twelve thousand, at least, have re- 
ceived communion. None of the churches could accommodate 
the multitude that crowded from all parts of the city. 'I'lic 
cathedral with its galleries newly put up, being found alto- 
gether too small, the mission was transferred to the large 
enclosure on the North Side known as tlie church of the Holy 
Name and here, as if nothing had been previously done, a new 
harvest is found already mature. 

Years of spiritual indolence are atoned for and a new 
life — the life of grace — is begun by hundreds who for many 
long years knew not how great a blessing this was. How 
consoling to the heart of the Right Reverend Hishop and of 
the missionaries must not be this fruit of their labors, this 
fresh evidence of the vitality of the Catholic spirit, which it 
would seem neither time nor circumstances the most unfavor- 
able to its culture can root out of the soul of the sincere 

This is the third retreat with which, within the brief 
period of five months, the Catholics of Chicago have been 
blessed, the first given by the Jesuit Father Weninger, and 
the second soon after by the Redemptorist Father Kiutil. 
May we not now hojie that hencd'orth tlie religious progress 
of our city will keep even in advance of its astonishing mate- 
rial prosperity? 

Concedat Deus. Amen. M. I)iij,on'."' 

With the results of Father hanicirs missionary 
appeals in Chicago in the niidsnminor of 1850 Bishop 

' The St. Louis Leader, August 15, 185G. 



O 'Regan declared himKclf to be highly gratified and he 'ii^hop 
accordingly took advantage of the Father's presence in invueathe 
the city to renew again his invitation to the Jesuits to ^e^^nsto 
establish themselves in the metropolis. Father Damen, 
having previously obtained the sanction of his Superior 
in St, Louis for the course he now pursued, showed 
himself dispose^l to accept the invitation and began at 
once to look over the ground to determine a suitable 
location for a new parish. Investigation led him to 
prefer the AN'est Side, where large numbers of Irish 
Catholic immigrants were settling down, A few weeks 
after Father Damen 's return to St, Louis, he received 
a communication from liishop 'Regan, 

"Chicago, lUinoiii, September 15, 1850, 
To Reverend Father Damen, S. J., St. Louia: 

Dkak FATiiKH Damk.v — I have juKt now written to Father 
Provincial and I want you to asnist me with him that lie may 
grant the request of establij^hing a House in Chicago, You 
know its neeesKity and the prospects before it and hence I 
have referred to you as one who can give to the Provincial 
and others all the requisite information on this subject. May 
I beg of you to do so? You could not co-operate in a holier 
work. You would be a most eflieient instrument to build up 
religion in this eity and diocese. Land can be had quite near 
to the locality you wished for, but in a still better plac;e, at a 
fair \>r\cAi and in large ^juantities. In one place as much as 
six acres can be had. By buying all this, you would, in one 
year, have two entirely free. The increased value caused by 
your establishment would effect this, 'i'his is a positive fact, 

I would also request of yon not to correspond on thi^ 
matter with anyone what«;ver in Chicago, except myself, not 
even with those who, in other respects, would be found most 
trustworthy. Already Catholics whom you regard much are 
actually spe^mlating on the subject and if they knew you or 
I had a preference for a particular place, they would soon 
have it bought up. You will write to me soon again. 


I am sorry that I did not merit your thanks better whilst 
you were in Chicago. I can never sut'liciently express my es- 
teem for you and your worthy Fathers. 

I would have written sooner to you and to Father Provin- 
cial, but I wished to know more about the land. 

With kindest regards for Father De Smet and the earnest 
wish of seeing you soon permanently at work in Chicago, 
where you are most ardently expected, I am, 

Reverend dear Father Damen, very truly yours, 


Bishop of Chicago u)id Admi^tistrator of Quincy."- 

In a second letter which Bishop O'Kegan wrote to 
Father Damen a few weeks later he expresses again his 
desire to see the Society of Jesus estal)lished in Chicago. 

''I know I cannot do a better work for religion, for the 
diocese or for my own soul than by establishing here a house 
of your Society, and this is the reason I have been so very 
anxious to effect this. It was on this account as also from 
my personal regard and affection for your Institute as for 
many of your Fathers individually, that I so urgently ami 
perseveringly tried to see this good work accomplislied." - 

Bishop 'Regan's earnest invitation to the Jesuits 
of St. Louis to establish themselves in Chicago having 
been definitely accepted, Father Damen acquired in the 
spring of 1857 property in that city as a site not only 
for the imposing house of worship which he planned to 
build, but also for a future college. The property was 
located on the West Side a block west of the intersection 
of Twelfth Street with Hoosier, or, as it was subse- 
quently called, Blue Island Avenue, and consisted of 
thirty-two lots, making up the entire block between 
Twelfth, May, Eleventh and Austin (Aberdeen) Streets. 

"St. Louis tjiiiversity Areliivcs. 


March 10, 1857, Father Dameii wrote to his Superior in 
St. Louis, Father John Baptist Druyts. 

''The answer from Philadelphia has come about the Bull's 
head property. They will sell at $600 a lot, which would 
make a total of $24,600 [sic] for the 44 lots. The acre which 
is in litigation cannot be settled yet. "With this acre included, 
there would be 52 lots, and this would make a total of $31,- 
400 [sic]. Of this $2,500 would be paid by two Protestant 
gentlemen towards the improvement. I w^ent out this after- 
noon and made inquiries about the number of Catholic fami- 
lies in the neighborhood and I could not tuid a dozen around 
the place. I therefore concluded that the place should be 
rejected as one that would not pay us for the sacrifices we 
have to make. Should your Reverence think differently, tele- 
graph (buy the Bull's head). Bishop still continues recom- 
mending this place and says that we will regTet it; but I can- 
not believe that informed as I am at present about the few 
Catholics in that vicinity. Moreover, here we would have to 
put xip $10,000 improvements the first year; that is a part of 
the bargain."^ 

Now I have accepted the Southwest Side, three acres at 
$5,500 an acre, that is thirty-two lots. Here we will have a 
large Catholic population at once, sufficient to fill a large 
church. "VYe can put up a frame church, which will answer the 
purpose till all the land is paid off. Then it will answer for 
a school, and the rest of the land, which we can sell, will help 
us to build the college and the new church. In my opinion, 
it is decidedly the only place we can take here." 

Having thus determined on a site for his new church, 
Father Damen returned to St. Louis, whence he had the 
satisfaction of advising Bishop 'Regan that the busi- 

' The Bull 's Head was a tavern at the southeast corner of 
Madison Street and Ogden Avenue, where the Washingtonian 
Home stood in later years. It was built in 1848 by Matthew 
Laflin and owed its name to the neighboring cattle-yards, the first 
to be opened in Chicago. 


ncss just concluded by him in Chicago had received the 
indorsement of his Superior. Further plans for the 
expansion of Catholicism in Chicago were now communi- 
cated l)y the Bisho]) to Father Damon. 

"Chicago, Illinois, Marcli 21, 1S57. 
To Reverend A. Damon: 

Kevercnd Dear Friend — I have received your note with 
the agreeable news that Father Druyts has conlirmed your acts 
in Chicago. I have given thanks to God for this great bless- 
ing and I pray that He may always aid with His abundant 
graces the holy work. I would strongly impress on you to 
come as soon as possible after Easter to collect and commence 
the work. This can now be more effectually done, ])ecause 
the Sisters of Mercy have given up the project of l)uilding 
a Hospital. Moreover, some one else might be walking over 
your ground unless you come in good time. I would at once 
define your Parish, announce it, and you would attend the sick 
calls from my house and have the emoluments and a better 
claim in collecting. 

I have now another trouble to give j'ou. It is this : I 
want to bring the Ladies of the Sacred Heart or some of 
them to Chicago and I want this to be done this sunnner. I 
will give all the patronage in my power, and this is the only 
aid I can give. But at present this patronage is money or 
worth it. It stands thus: 

The Sisters of Mercy are to give \\y> their Doavding 
School tliis sunmier and to convert that house into an hos- 
])ital. They now have 4(5 boai'ders — it may be more. All 
tliese would at once pass into the school of the Ladies of the 
Sacred Heart, with many others, I am sure. In order to 
receive them it would be necessary to have a house built and 
completed at farthest on the middle of next September. This 
can be easily done by a community able to raise money, as I 
am sure The Sacred Heart can. I eon.sider all this as a happy 
coincidence and as the voice of God calling to ns at one time 
the Jesuits and the Ladies of the Sacred Heait. 

Do, Dear Father and Friend, comjilete the good work 
you have begun. L^se all your inlluence to have this effected. 

BISHOP o'regan 175 

Now is the fitting time. Property can be conveniently had not 
far from your church. In three months, a house can be fin- 
ished, and when opened, it will be filled. It will be a transfer 
from one house here into another. 

I write this day to Madame Galway, and, through God 
and his Virgin Mother, I implore success for this good and 
holy project. I depend very much on you. Write soon and 
work hard for the Sacred Heart's sake. 

Yours most affectionately, 

Anthony, Bishop of Chicago." 

The March of 1857 had thus seen Father Damen noiy Family 


make definite choice of a site for the imposing church 
edifice which he planned to build. May 4 following he 
arrived in Chicago from St. Louis in company with 
Father Charles Truyens to take the work definitely in 
hand. He carried with him a memorandum of instruc- 
tions from the Vice-Provincial, Father Druyts, which 
bespeak the high religious purpose that actuated the 
promoters of this apostolic venture. '^ Remember why 
we go to Chicago, viz. A. M. D. G. — the good of re- 
ligion, the good of souls. Let us then have the best of 
intentions and often renew them."* Father Damen lost 
no time on his arrival in giving out contracts for the 
erection of a temporary frame church, a two-story 
structure, 20 x -IS, with "a neat balcony erected in 
front of first-story," to be delivered on or before July 
15, 1857. Jul}^ 12 the church was solemnly blessed 
under the title of the Holy Family by Bishop Duggan 
of St. Louis. Circumstances had brought it al)out that 
Bishop 'Regan, to whose efforts were j^rimarily due 
the csta])lishment of the Jesuits in Chicago, was not to 
preside at the dedication of their temporary church. 

St. Louis University Archives. 


At the dedicatory services the sermon, an clofiiuMit one, 
was preached by Bishop Duggan. 

The throng of worshippers soon taxed tlic little lujuse 
of worship beyond capacity and an addition was made to 
it in August to be followed by a second addition in the 
course of 1858. The first church of the Holy Family 
stood at the southeast corner of Eleventh and May 
Streets. On Sunday, August 23, 1857, Festival of the 
Most Pure Heart of Mary, took place, with the Bishop, 
his clergy and a great concourse of the laity in attend- 
ance, the laying of the corner-stone of the spacious and 
permanent edifice of brick. The Daily Times in an- 
nouncing the event declared that "the Reverend gentle- 
men who have undertaken this enterprise propose to 
spend $100,000 on the erection of a temple of worship 
which will surpass in size any other in Chicago, which 
sum must be raised principally among themselves and 
also, it is understood, to found a collegiate institution 
with funds of their own, which it is anticipated will 
eventually rival that of Georgetown, District of Colum- 

At the time that Father Damcn began his work in 
Chicago, the panic of 1857 was in full swing. Lack of 
money, business and commercial depression, the growing 
number of the unemployed and a general air of rest- 
lessness and discontent on all hands were so many 
circumstances to render the task of collecting funds for 
a new church an appalling one even for the stoutest 
heart. Yet Father Damen attempted the task and 
succeeded. By the end of May, 1857, the subscriptions 
amounted to $30,000. "I get along pretty well" he 
wrote in September to Father Druyts, ''and people are 
astonished that I can get money at all." 

^■" <^„ 

CO o 



i — ^ 

^ ^^< ?^* 

fin a. '^ 

r; " o 

O f. 

^,y*^|gg^«H, ', jg-ggji 


Work ou the new church went steadily forward. Dedication of 
Early in 1860 contracts were let to Patrick O'Connor ^ohj Family 
for the towers and front wall of the church and to Church 
Robert Carse for the stained-glass windows, ''work to 
be equal to that of the windows in St. James' church, 
North Side." Progress in bringing the great structure 
forward to completion was now so rapid as to pernmt of 
the solemn dedication in the midsummer of 1860. The 
ceremony took place on Sunday, August 26, Feast of 
the Immaculate Heart of JMary, a day in the church's 
calendar dear to the heart of Father Damen, and was 
carried out with a degree of splendor hitherto quite 
unprecedented in the ecclesiastical history of the jMiddlc 
West. Thirteen members of the hierarchy were in 
attendance, Bishop Duggan being the officiating prelate, 
Bishop Fitzpatrick of Boston celebrant of the Pontifical 
Mass, and Archbishop Kenrick of St. Louis the preacher 
of the dedication sermon, while in the progress of the 
ceremony sermons were delivered in English by Bishop 
Carrcll of Covington, in German by Bishop Henni of 
]\Iilwaukee and in French by Bishop de St. Palais of 
Vincennes. Besides the prelates named there were 
present in the sanctuary Bishops Smyth of Dubuque, 
Juncker of Alton, Grace of St. Paul, Whelan of Nash- 
ville, Lefevre of Detroit, Luers of Fort Wayne and 
Timon of Buffalo. Mozart's Twelfth Mass, rendered 
under the personal direction of Father Maurice Oakley, 
one of the priests serving the parish, was the musical 
feature of the occasion. To Father Damen perhaps no 
day in all his career was quite like this in the splendid 
tokens of success with which it crowned his labors of the 
preceding three years. ' ' The Reverend Arnold Damen, ' ' 
wrote in 1866 James AV. Sheahan of the Chicago 


Tribune, "is the Hercules who has in a few years 
Avrought all this work. To his energy, his a])ility, liis 
sanctity, his perseverance and his great practical intel- 
ligence is due not only the erection of this magnificent 
edifice but the gi'cat spiritual success which has crowned 
the labors of the Society."'^ 
liesignaiion Dcspitc thc purity of his intentions and his obvious 

o'ncnan ^^^^ ^'^^^' ^^^^ ^'^^^ iiitercsts of the diocese, Bishop 'Regan 
was not to escape from dii^culties that detracted much 
from thc success of his administration. He became 
involved in painful difficulties wdth certain influential 
members of the clergy attached to the University of St. 
Mary of the Lake, w^hile the Chiniquy schism, though 
substantially healed through his earnest efforts, de- 
pressed him greatly and made him skeptical of his future 
usefulness to the diocese. In the course of 1857 he 
visited Rome where he made earnest petition to the Holy 
See to be relieved of his charge. While in Rome he 
made acquaintance with the young Chicagoan John 
McjMullen, first Bishop of Davenport to be, then a 
student at the Propaganda. To McMullen he expressed 
the high hopes he entertained for the future of the 
Chicago diocese, despite thc ill-success that had attended 
his efforts to administer it. "I sec no reason," wrote 
the seminarian from Ivome to a Chicago correspondent 
in 1858, "why the church should not keep up with the 
growth of Chicago. The Bishop speaks in glowing terms 
of the Catholic people and how well they assisted him 
in building his palatial residence."^ 

"From an album of Chicago views (1830-1866) witli letter- 
press by James W. Sheahan. 

'McGovEKN, Life of Bishop McMulhn, Chicago, 188S, p. 117. 


The Holy See having accepted Bishop 'Regan's Death of 
resignation, he was made titular Bishop of Dora in o'^cgan 
partibus and thereupon retired to ^Michael's Grove, 
Brompton, London, where he spent the remainder of his 
days, dying November 13, 1866, at the age of fifty-seven. 
He often assisted the illustrious Cardinal Wiseman in 
the more solemn services of the Church and was visited 
in his last illness by Doctor, subsequently Cardinal 
]\Ianning. Among the bequests in his will was one of 
two thousand pounds to the Roman Catholic Missionary 
College of All Hallows, Dublin, the interest of which 
was to be applied to the education of priests for the 
dioceses of Chicago and Alton ; and another one of five 
hundred pounds tow^ards the erection of a Catholic 
hospital in Chicago.' 

Nature had not, it would appear, fitted Bishop 
O 'Regan to the task of taking tactfully in hand and 
administering with success the delicate affairs of a 
young and unsettled diocese of Western America. But 
as an ecclesiastic, a scholar, and a director of young men 
in the mental and moral training preparatory to the 
holy priesthood, his reputation ran high in the church 
circles of the day and all bore testimony to the rectitude 
of his intentions. ' ' It may be said of Bishop 'Regan, ' ' 
wrote a Chicago ecclesiastic whose seminarian days were 
contemporary with the Bishop's episcopacy, "that he 
w^as a man in the truest sense, single-minded, firm as a 
rock and honest as gold. A lover of truth and justice, 
w^hom no self-interest could mislead and no corruption 
contaminate, he held fast the affection of many and 
gained the full respect of all. "^ 

' Clarke, Deceased Bishops of the United States, 3 : 169. 
' McGovERN, Catholic Church in Chicago, p. 195. 



•^«'"''* JaTiics Dng:<j:aii, fouiili l^>ishop of Chicago, was born 

Fourth Bishop ill .Mu^noolh, County Kildurc, Ireland, on i\Iay 22, 1825. 

ofchicnijo, Xa one of a number of youns Irish ecclesiastics who 
1850-18()S , , ,, „ ■ . 1 A 1 , • , 

res])()ii(le(l to a call lor recruits sent out by Archbishop 

Kcnrick of St. Louis in 1842, he was sent to complete 
his theological studies at St. Vincent's, Cape Girardeau, 
wliore lu' \v;is (i!'(l;iiii('(l ;i |)fi('sl in 1S47. Assip^nod to the 
Cathetb'al parish in St. Louis, he soon distinguished 
himself ))y his zealous discharge of the ministery and 
by the forc(>ful and eloquent quality of his utterances 
in the pulpit. During the vacancy in the sec of Chicago 
following u])()n the resignation of Bishop Van do Velde, 
he Avas for a period administi-ator of that diocese though 
still a simple ])i'i('st. 1 laving been appointed by the 
Holy See I>ishf)p of Antigone and coadjutor to the 
Archbishop ol' St. Louis, he was consecrated by the 
Archl)ishop oL' St. jjoiiis. assisted by liisho])s llenni and 
O'Regan. Only a iVw months had (■hii)S('(l since* his 
consecration when he ^\as sent by .\rchbishop Kcni'iclc 
to Chicago 1o ad as aihiiinist raloi' thei'e after the with- 
drawal t'i'oiii ihc diocese of liisiio]) O'Kegan. On 
.lannaiy IM. IS")!), he received from the Holy Sec letters 
t ransfeiTing him to the scv of Chicago and on the fol- 
lowing Sunday he was instaUcd in St. Mary's Cathe- 

' Sin:.\, Tfistori/ of the CdihoUc Church in ihc Vnitid States, 

Rt. Rev. James Dufi<;:ui, rdurih I'.isliop of Chicago, 1859-1870. He 
was a native of Iioland and came to Ciiicago from Saint Louis, where he 
had l)een consecrated Coadjutor to Archliishop Kenrick in 1857. Trans- 
ferred to Cliicago, January 21, 1859, and retired on account of infirm 
health in 1879. Died in Saint Louis, March 27, 1899. Painting by the 
distinf,>iislied aitist, (ieorge P. A. Ilealy, in Ihe N(>wlierry T^ibrary, Chicago. 


- >-H- 


With the advent of Bishop Duggan the diocese felt 
a new vitality and energy pulsate through its veins. 
Both clergy and laity lent him their confidence and loyal 
support and the results of his efficient handling of 
ecclesiastical affairs were soon to be felt on every hand. 
The church began to assume a higher place in public 
regard through the reception into its fold of figures of 
public note. Ex-Governor Bissell of Illinois was buried 
with Catholic rites in Springfield, Father Smarius, the 
Jesuit, preaching the funeral sermon, while Stephen A. 
Douglas was received into the church by Bishop Duggan, 
who delivered a eulogy over his remains. The Catholic 
Institute, a society of laymen founded in the 'fifties to 
foster intellectual life and culture among the laity and 
promote Catholic interests generally, continued its 
useful career. Old St. Mary's was the place of meeting 
and lectures and addresses by persons of national and 
even international celebrity were delivered at intervals 
under the auspices of the Institute. Among the lecturers 
whom the Catholics of Chicago were thus privileged to 
hear were James MclVIaster, Orestes A. Brownson, 
Thomas D'Arcy McGee, John Gough, John Mitchell and 
Rev. Donald MacLeod. Particularly active in the affairs 
of the Institute were Bernard G. Caulfield, W. J. 
Onahan, Col. James A. Mulligan, Philip Conley, Charles 
McDonnell and Michael Lantry.- 

4: 620; McGovern, op. cit., pp. 196-202. Bishop Constantine 
Smyth of Dubuque was for a brief period Administrator of the 
diocese after the withdrawal of Bishop O 'Regan. Catholic Alma- 
nac, 1858. 

- The funeral oration delivered by Father Smarius over Ex- 
Governor Bissel was reproduced in the Chicago New World, April 
14, 1900. William J. Onahan 's reminiscences, contributed under 

182 TiiK CATiinLir riTT-Rni ix Chicago 

Of the clergy serving the Chicago parishes during the 
administration of Bishoj) Diiggan, several were more 

the title Catholic Frogrcss in Cliicago, to the Illinois Catliolic 
Historical Review, 1: 176-183, contain interesting data on Cath- 
olic life in Chicago from the 'fifties on. 

Tlic Catholic Institute was organized January S, 1.S54. On 
March 21, 1S5S, a Debating Club was estaWished among its mem- 
l)ers, chiefly through the efforts of William J. Onahan and Michael 
"W. O'Brien, afterwards a prominent banker of Detroit, who were 
eager and enthusiastic supporters of all the activities of the Insti- 
tute. In is.j!) tlie Institute appears to have been supplanted by a 
new Catholic "literary society" known as the Chicago Lyceum, 
the name being liorrowed frdin an older organization of secular 
character, which went out of existence in the early 'fifties. The 
Catholic Institute wrote a brief but glorious page in the history of 
the Catholic lay-aj^ostolate in Chicago. Its objects, as outlined in 
the minutes of the Institute in the excellent handwriting of James 
A. Mulligan, present an admirable ideal of lay-cooperation in the 
church: "The objects of the Association are to establish a Catli- 
olie Library and Reading room, to provide for the delivery of 
Lectures explanatory of the principles of the Catholic Church as 
to her History, Philosophy and Politicks. To present to the Cath- 
olics of Chicago opportunities and incentive for improvement. To 
multiply the sources of information and to promote a friendly 
intercourse and exchange of thought among the members of the 
Catholic Body and to excite and maintain a laudable zeal for the 
honor and character of Catliolicity. Any Catholic of good moral 
standing may become a member of the Institute." 

The energies of the militant young Catholics behind the In- 
stitute did not run in literary channels alone. Besides nuiintain- 
ing a lecture bureau, debating club and library, they promoted 
various Catholic social gatherings, taught Sumlay-sehool and an- 
ticipated the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in tin- city 
by visiting and aiding the poor whose needs, especially during 
the great panic of 1857, they made earnest effort to relieve. See 
the article. The Chicago Institute and Chicago Lyceum, by John 
Ireland Gallery, in the Illinois Catholic Tlistorical Bcvicw, 2: 


especially identified with the church affairs of the day. 
Among these were Father Dennis Dunne of St. Patrick's, 
Vicar-General of the diocese, Father Thaddeus J. Butler 
of the Immaculate Conception, Father Joseph P. Roles 
of the Holy Name, Father John "Waldron of St. John's, 
Father Patrick W. Reardon, the future Archbishop of 
San Francisco, Father John P. McMullen, afterwards 
Bishop of Davenport, and Father Thomas Burke of St. 
Columbkille's. With these and other zealous clergymen 
attending the parishes or filling professors ' chairs in the 
University, Catholic life in Chicago gave every token of 
health and vigor and promised still greater things to 

Bishop Duggan had been chief pastor of the Chicago Cwu War 
diocese only three years when the country was plunged 
into the horrors of Civil AYar. Ranging himself from 
the outset on the Union side in the tremendous conflict, 
he was energetic in securing it loyalty and support from 
the Catholics under his jurisdiction.^ He encouraged 

^ Andkeas, History of Chicago, 2 : 398. ' ' During the late 
rebellion, Bishop Duggan has been a strong Union man and has 
thrown all his influence on the side of the Government. ' ' Phil- 
lips, Chicago and Her Churches, p. 270. 

Interesting comments on the attitude of Chicago priests dur- 
ing the Civil War period are to be found in the contemporary 
letters of Eliza Allen Starr, a distinguished convert to the Cath- 
olic Church and a resident of Chicago as early as 1856 : ' ' You 
will be more ready to do this when I tell you tliat on the day of 
National Thanksgiving Father E[oles] came out in the broadest 
and most emphatic manner upon the virtue of loyalty and the hei- 
nousness of any breach of its law. On the same day I heard an in- 
sti-uction from Dr. B[utler], whose high mass was earlier, and a 
more enthusiastic sermon I am certain was not preached that day. 
It was grand in its theology, and he brought forward as his exam- 


recruiting, being one of Col. Mulligan's chief supporters 
in the latter 's efforts to organize the Irish Brigade, 

pies saints, popes, and bishops. He did not content himself with 
a negative loyalty, but it was absolute and positive, an actual 
support of the present administration and prayers for our chief 
President — ardent and persevering prayer. It was one of those 
grand bursts of a sanctified enthusiasm to which my good con- 
fessor is somewhat liable. From the very first year of the Rebel- 
lion the Doctor has gone in the face of national feeling and polit- 
ical leanings, actuated by a simple, theological, and humanly 
logical (would it be correct to say homological) persuasion of the 
wrong of secession, and the heinousness of reljcllion. He has 
come out of it thus far true to the training of the Propagandist, 
which always declares equality without distinction of race or 
color, and a horror of slavery. He now says, 'Call me an Aboli- 
tionist, if you please, but I hold fast to my colors.' As far as 
my observation goes the practice at the Propaganda is all in 
favor of Northern ideas. I sometimes find even the Propa- 
gandists with an antipathy to Yankees as a race, though I have 
never seen it towards individuals, but the good Doctor goes in 
for the Yankees now. 

"I shall enclose to you one of the Bishop's circulars. His 
council, of which Dr. Dunne, Dr. McMullen, and Dr. Butler are 
prominent members, were strongly in favor of a very marked 
attention to the wishes of the President. Dr. Butler went so far 
as to tell his people, ' The President had a right to command them 
to aid him by their devotion.' Thursday I went to mass at a 
farmhouse four or five miles from here. An Irish family, of 
course, and its head a leading Irishman in these parts; he is 'for 
the Union, for the administration, though the taxes swallow his 
farm,' my brother says. The neighbor with whom I went made a 
visit, as well as attended to her duty, so I spent a day among my 
Celtic neighbors, and everything I heard was 'for the government 
as it is, and the powers that be.' " (The Life and Letters of 
Eliza Allen Starr, edited by Rev. James J. McGovern, D. D., Chi- 
cago, 1905, p. 191.) 

"If you wish to hear good, patriotic talking, come to Chi- 
cago and hear the Doctor — and he is not the only one — Dr. 


despatched chaplains and Sisters of Mercy for tlie 
spiritual and physical relief of the soldiers and was 
actively interested in the various war-relief organiza- 
tions of the period, notably the Sanitary Relief Cominis- 
sion. Nor were examples of loyal, energetic support of 
the Union wanting in the ranks of Bishop Duggan's 
clergy. Father Thomas F. Kelly, founder of the parish 
of St. James, became associated as chaplain with the 
90th Illinois Volunteers, better knowai as the Irish 
Legion, while Father Thaddeus J. Butler discharged 
a similar service for the Irish Brigade. Notew^orthy in 
this connection were the Avords of Dr. John McMullen, 
President of the University of St. Miary of the Lake: 
"If it were not that I am a priest and a man of peace, 
I would be down South with my old companions who 
are still alive, fighting under the Stars and Stripes for 
the preservation of the Union."'* 

The story of the Irish Brigade, the 23rd Illinois ^he Irish 

T p -\ 1 • • T A Brigade 

Iniantry, deserves more than passing notice. James A. 
Mulligan, native-born American of Irish extraction, had 
been graduated from the University of St. Mary of the 
Lake in the same class with John McMullen, subse- 
quently President of that institution. Of an interesting 
and engaging personality, he possessed literary and 
journalistic gifts above the common and was for a space 

McMullen and Dr. Dunne are as sound as himself, only Dr. But- 
ler's enthusiastic heart and demonstrative manner make a won- 
derful impressions. The Doctor is really a Democrat, but not a 
Copperhead, and all the shades of copper are lashed out of his 
presence. His patriotism is guarded like his faith, at all points. 
It would refresh you to hear his grand voice on the side of gov- 
ernment, justice, and the hosts of Michael against all rebels." 
(Id., p. 175.) 

^McGovERN, Life of Bishop McMulle7i, p. 148. 


(•(litt)i' of Chicago's first Catholic newspaper, the Western 
Tabid ; and he enjoyed, too, in no inconsiderable degree, 
the Celtic gift of oratory. In Chicago in ante-))elluni 
days were several niilitarj' bodies of Jrisli Catholics, the 
Shields, the Emniett, the Montgonieiy guards among 
thcni; and from the personnel of these Mulligan planned 
early in the Civil Wai- to recruit a regiment for the de- 
fense of the Union. "Kally for the honor of llie old 
Land, Rally for tlie defense of tlie New," was the 
stii'i'ing summons to a meeting held in North .Market 
Hall, April 20, 1861. Mulligan addressed this meeting 
at which in the space of an hour and a half three liun- 
dixnl and twenty-five recruits handed in their names, 
this num])er growing to twelve hundred in a week's 
time. The military body thus organized was tlie first 
independent Illinois regiment to be accepted by the 
"War De])artment, being mustered into service June 15, 
18G1, as the 23rd Illinois Infantry. Among the field 
and staf¥ of^cers, all of Chicago, were Col. James A. 
iMulligan, Lieutenant Col. dames (^uii'k and Clia])lnin 
Father Thaddeus J. Butler. 

From their headquarters, "Fontenoy liarracks. " on 
Polk Street, the "Irish Brigade," as the 23rd Illinois 
Infantry came to be known, proceeded to St. Louis there 
to be armed and equipped at the Arsenal. A short while 
after it went into action at Lexington, INFissouri. Here 
it bore itself with distinguished gallantry, the regi- 
ment 's green flag being torn on the battlefield into pieces 
which were divided among the men to prevent it from 
falling into the hands of the enemy. The news of the 
affair at Lexington was received in Chicago with en- 
thusiasm. I. N. Arnold, one of its most conspicuous 
citizens and Lincoln's friend and biographer, presented 


to Congress the following resolutions which were adopted 
by that body: 

''Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, 
that the thanks of Congress be presented to Col. James A. 
Mulligan and the gallant oflieers and soldiers raider his com- 
mand who bravely stood by him against a greatly su]ierior 
force, in his heroic defense of Lexington, Mo. 

Resolved, that the 23rd Regiment Illinois Volunteers — 
the Irish Brigade — in testimony of their gallantry on this occa- 
sion, be authorized to bear upon their colors the word 'Lex- 
ington.' " 

Mustered out of service, the Irish brigade was later, 
as a result of Col. Mulligan's personal appeal to 
President Lincoln, reorganized and sent again into active 
service. In an engagement fought at Kernstown, near 
AVinchester, West Virginia, July 24, 1864, Col. Mulligan, 
while leading his men in a charge, fell mortally 
wounded, dying a few hours after. As his officers were 
endeavoring to remove him to a place of safety the regi- 
mental colors became endangered, realizing which he 
gave his last command in words that were soon to ring 
throughout the country, "Lay me down and save the 
flag." All Chicago mourned the loss of its distinguished 
citizen and matchless soldier. At his obsequies held in 
St. Mary's Cathedral, his eulogy was pronounced by Dr. 
McMullen, his intimate of college days and fellow- 
graduate. What was less familiar to the public than 
Colonel Mulligan's military achievements, his sincere 
and practical Christian piety, was particularly stressed 
by the speaker. 

"Never did his lips which once repeated, *Thou shalt not 
take the name of God in vain,' in obedience to His will, pro- 
nounce the Holv Name irreverently. Latelv returnins from 


the toils of war, he made a short sojourn among us and took 
the opportunity of attending in a special manner to the saneti- 
fication of his soul. E\'ery morning, St. INIarv's, the mother 
of churches in our city, received him at the Sacrifice, this old 
sanctuary of his early piety, where rests all that time has 
left us of that object of his veneration, Bishop Quarter. And 
how can I forget his parting words, which brought to me, I 
thought to him, a j^resentiment of what has happened. 'Pray 
for me,' he said for parting, 'for I shall need your prayers 
soon, and so farewell until this cruel war is over.' " "' 

^"eio The single parish of St. ]\Iary's Avliieh Bishop 

^aris es. (^^^yXqv foiiiid 111 Chicago wlien ho arrived there in May, 
Henry's 1844, saw three additional ones— St. Patrick's, St. 
Peter's. St. Joseph's and to some extent a fourth, the 
Holy Name, grow up before his untimely death. To 
these were added, under Bishop Van de Velde, St. 
Louis's, St. Michael's, St. Francis of Assisi's, St. 
Henry's and St. Bridget's. The first three were or- 
ganized and well started on their way as independent 
parishes under Bishop Van de Velde ; but of St. Henry's 
and St. Bridget's, only the beginnings were made before 
his Avithdrawal from the diocese. As early as 1851 a 
church had been built by Father Henrj^ Fortmann, 

'AxDKEAS. op. cit., 2: 190; McGovERN, Life of Bishop Mc- 
Miillcn. Michael Divcrscy, prominent in German Catliolic circles- 
in Chicago and one of the prime movers in the organization of 
St. Michael's parish, was Lieutenant-Colonel of the "Washington 
Indcjiendent Reginicnt, which was oft'ercil entire to Governor 
Yates at tlie outln-cak of the Civil War ami accepted. A gran- 
ite shaft, surmounted l\v the figure of a Union solditM-. w:is 
erected in St. Boniface Cemetery in memory of tlie German Catli- 
olics who died in their country's service during the Civil War. 
"In the last war many German Catholics fought for the preser- 
vation of the Union, proving thereby that the German immigrants. 
are true sons of the land." Bukgler, op. cit., p. 212. 


pastor of Gross Point or New Trier, on the site of the 
present St. Henry's church at Ridge and Devon 
Avenues, then outside the city limits in the suburban 
district subsequently known as Rose Hill. Attended 
first by the pastor of Gross Point and later by the 
Redemptorist Fathers of St. Michael's church, St. 
Henry's parish received its first resident priest, Decem- 
ber, 1869, in the person of Father Haems. 

The origin of St. Bridget's parish is to be referred st. Bridget's 
to the beginning of the 'fifties, when Mass began to be 
said in a private house at the south branch of the river 
and Archer Avenue. Here, in the district named 
Bridgeport, Irish emigrants were settling in ever- 
increasing numbers. Served at first as a station from 
St. Patrick's, St. Bridget's was recognized as an inde- 
pendent parish in 1854, the church records beginning 
with the baptism of Margaret Duffy on January 1 of 
that year. The officiating priest was Father Michael 
Donohue of St. Patrick's, who was succeeded in 1855 by 
Father Thomas Kelly, deputed by Bishop 'Regan in 
1855 to look after the Catholic families resident in the 
districts known as Carville and Bridgeport. Father 
Kelly made his residence in Carville, attending thence 
the station in Bridgeport, where he built the first per- 
manent St. Bridget's church, a brick structure, on the 
site of the present church at Archer Avenue and Arch 
Street. Having resigned his parochial duties to become 
a chaplain in the Civil War, Father Kelly was suc- 
ceeded in the care of St. Bridget's by Father John 
Grogan, the first resident pastor of the church.*' 

^ Diamond Jubilee of the Archdiocese of Chicago, W20, St. 
Mary's Training School Press, Desplaines, Illinois, p. 271. 



St. James's, 
St. Patrick's, 
South Chicar/o 

The few years of Bishop 'Regan's residence in 
Chicago witnessed the establishment of the parishes of 
St. James, St. Patrick in South Chicago, and the Holy 
Family. Father Damen's achievement in building up 
his great parish on the AVest Side has been told above. 
St. James's parish owes its creation to the zeal of Father 
Thomas Kelly, who in 1855 took in hand the spiritual 
care of the Catholic families resident in Carville on the 
South Side. These families numbered in the beginning 
some twenty, those of William Donohue, Robert AVhalen, 
John Downey and Timothy Flannigan being particu- 
larly identified with the birth of the new parish. Mass 
for the parishioners was first celebrated in a room in 
St. Agatha's Mercy Convent, Twenty-sixth Street and 
Calumet Avenue. In 1858 a frame church was erected 
on Prairie Avenue between Twenty-sixth and Twenty- 
seventh Streets, the pastor residing at ')14 Calumet 
Avenue and later at 1223 Prairie Avenue. It was not 
until 1880 that a church was built on the present site, 
Wabash Avenue and Twentv-iiinth Street. 

St. Patrick's parish. South Chicago, now within the 
limits of the metropolis, was in its origin a mission in the 
village of Ainsworth attended from St. James's. It was 
started in 1857 by Father Kelly, tlie foundei- of St. 
James's parish, who in 1861 l)uil1 a frame church at what 
is now South Chicago Avenue and Ninety-third Stri^el. 
St. Pati'ick's was served from St. Thomas's, Hyde Park, 
after the establishment of that parish in 1866 and not 
until 1880 did it receive its first resident pastor. Father 
Martin Van der Laar. In its early days the territory 
of St. Patrick's embraced in addition to Ainsworth the 
entire Calumet region, including the settlements kno\ni 



as Ironclale, Hegewisch, Windsor Park, Cheltenham and 

Under Bishop Duggan the organization of new st. John's, 
parishes went on apace, some sixteen being added to the f.^maaUatT^'' 
list during his tenure of the Chicago see. The year 1859 Conception 
was marked by the establishment of three new parishes, 
St. John's, St. Columbkille 's and the Immaculate Con- 
ception. St. John's dates from June 24 of that year 
when Father John Waldron, an outstanding figure 
among the Catholic clergy of the day, who had been in 
charge of the French church of St. Louis ever since 
his ordination, began the erection of a frame church at 
the corner of Clark and Old or Eighteenth Streets. The 
humble house of worship had a seating capacity of three 
hundred and cost $3,500. It was dedicated by Bishop 
Duggan October 30, 1859. Subsequently enlarged to the 
dimensions 64x66 feet, the original St. John's church, 
building site included, cost the parishioners the sum of 
$20,000. St. Columbkille 's at Paulina Street and West 
Grand Avenue (originally Owen and later Indiana 
Street) began as a mission of St. Patrick's. The bap- 
tismal and marriage records of the parish open with 
entries for September 18, 1859, the first pastor being 
Father Patrick Ward, who was succeeded the following 
year by Father Edward Keeney. Then, in 1862, came 
Father "Tom" Burke, with whom the pioneer stage of 
the parish is especially identified. In its early years St. 
Columbkille 's was a parish of vast extent, taking in, as 
it did, Cicero, Cragin and the rolling-mill district of 

'Andreas, oi?. cit., 2: 401; Catholic Directory, 1867; Dia- 
mond Jubilee of the Archdiocese of Chicago, 1920, p. 315. 

102 Tiir CATHOLIC ciirncii in Chicago 

North Chicago and reaching clown on the south to St. 
Pati'iclv's and the Holy Family. The first church was 
built about the beginning of the Civil War ; and from 
its i)ortals, after attending the Holy Sacrifice, went 
forth to the front in 18G1 a regiment made up largely 
of parishioners of St. Columbkille 's. To the zealous 
efforts of Father William Edwards is due the inception 
of the Immaculate Conception parish, which at first took 
in the wide sweep of territory lying between Division 
Street and Evanston. The church, work on which was 
begun in 1859, was dedicated by Bishop Duggan on 
March 25, 18G0. It stood at Franklin, now North Park 
Avenue, and Schiller Streets and was erected at a cost 
of $17,000. Father Edwards was succeeded at his death 
in 18G1 by Father Thaddeus Butler, D. D., Chaplain of 
the Irish Brigade, who remained pastor of the Immacu- 
late Conception for seven years.^ 
Groicthof The three Crerman parishes of St. Peter's, St. 

plrilhesT' Joseph's and St. Michael's prospered all through the 
St. Peter's 'sixties. In the fall of 1853 St. Peter's moved its pioneer 
church from the original location on the south side of 
"Washington Street, some hundred feet west of Wells, to 
the south-west corner of Clark and Polk Streets. In 
1863 a brick church was begun to be occupied the fol- 
lowing year. It cost $45,000 and is still standing, 
though the parish has long since dwindled into insig- 
nificance before the encroachments of business and 
undesirable social elements. Yet large numbers of the 
devout Catholic laity- continue to frequent old St. 
Peter's to share the ministry of the Franciscan 

^Andiieas, op. cit., 2: 406; Diamond Jubilee of the Arch- 
diocese of Chicago, 1920, pp. 341, 331, 333. 


Fathers, who have been in charge of the church since 
1878. The ])arish, which numbered only some thirty 
families at its foundation and one hundred and fifty at 
the time the old church was moved to Clark Street, had 
grown to twelve hundred families at the period of the 

Keeping pace with the growth of St. Peter's parish st. Joseph's 
was its twin-sister, St. Joseph's parish, the two having 
been organized simultaneously by Father Jung. The 
little frame church, 36x65, which stood at the north-east 
corner of Cass and Superior Streets on a lot purchased 
from Peter Annen, served the needs of the parish until 
1861. Father Jung withdrew from the Chicago diocese 
in 1848 and w^as followed at St. Joseph's in succession 
by Fathers Schaeffer, Plathe and Kopp. Father Kopp 
served the parish for seven years, organizing during his 
incumbency a number of its families into the new parish 
of St. Michael's. In September, 1856, the Fathers of 
the Holy Cross, established since the early 'forties at 
Notre Dame, Indiana, arrived in Chicago to take over 
the management of the University of St. Mary of the 
Lake. St. Joseph's church, directly across from the Uni- 
versity property on Chicago Avenue, was at the same 
time committed to their charge. Father John B. ]Mager 

'■' BuKGLER, Geschichte der Tcathol. Kirche Chicago's vnt ieson- 
derer Berucksichtigung des hatholischen Deutschthums, Chicago, 
1889. Burgler's list of original members of St. Peter's parish 
includes the names of John Gross, Joseph Yager, John Glasen, 
Andrew Schall, Andrew Schaller, Nicolas and Peter Eees, Joseph 
and Anton Berg, Hubert Maas, Michael Gleinhaus, Joseph Schu- 
macher, John Paul, Adam Amberg, John and Frank Busch, Casper 
Pfeifer, Michael Eule and M. Haas. 


at once assumed the duties of pastor with Father C. B. 
Kilroy as assistant. In May. 1857. Father Mager was 
succeeded by Father Andrew Tusch, who in turn was 
followed by other priests of his Congregation including 
Fathers Force. Schuyler and Gillespie. Father ^Mager 
subsequently returned to St. Joseph's as pastor and was 
apparently in charge at the time the Holy Cross 
Fathers withdrew from Chicago, the up-keep of the 
University having entailed financial burdens too great 
for them to continue to bear. They were succeeded at 
St. Joseph's by Benedictine Fathers from St. Vincent's 
Abbey. Pennsylvania, who took over the parish on June 
15, 1861. From the first the parishioners were drawn 
to these zealous sons of St. Benedict, whose ministry- in 
this venerable North Side parish has continued to our 
o\vn day. 

At the head of the long line of Benedictine priests 
who have lent their seiwices with distinguished zeal to 
the care of St. Joseph's parish was Father Louis Maiy 
Fink, who took up his pastoral duties June 13, 1861. 
The first of his Order to as.sist him in the pastorate was 
Father ^Icinrad Jaegle. who was consecrated Abbot by Duggan in St. Joseph church. July 25, 1861. 
Father Fink began in 1862 the erection of a new church 
in basilica style, which was occupied before the dose of 
the year. It was solemnly dedicated March 19, 1865. 
Abbot Boniface Zimmer having appointed Father Fink 
Prior of St. Benedict's Abbey. Atchison, Kansas, the 
latter was succeeded at St. Joseph's in 1868 by Father 
Leander Schneer. Three years later, in 1871, Prior 
Fink was named by the Holy See to the bishopric of 
Leavenworth left vacant by the resignation of Bishop 


Miege. June 11 of that year saw his consecration by 
Bishop Foley assisted by Bishops Melchers, Domenec 
and Miege. The consecration took place in the new St. 
Joseph's church, Chicago, of which he had formerly 
been pastor and which owed its erection to his zealous 
enterprise. A few months later this splendid shrine of 
Catholic worship fell a prey to the Great Fire." 

The story of the beginnings of St. Michael's parish St. Michael'. 
has been told above." First among the pastors of St. 
Michael's was Father Kopp, who attended the new 
church from St. Joseph's. In November, 1852, Father 
August Kramer was installed as first resident priest of 
the parish, after him following in quick succession 
Fathers Eusebius Kaiser, Joseph Zoegel, Anthony 
Saeger and Aloysius Hatala, a Hungarian. Then after 
a few months' vacancy of the pastorate came the 
Redemptorist Fathers, who in January, 1860, assumed 
charge of the parish. 

'" BuEGLER, op. cit., 37. Burgler gives a list of original mem- 
bers of St. Joseph's parish as follows: Peter Gobel, Michael 
Diversey, Augiistin Gauer, Jacob Miller, Maurice Baumgarteu, 
John S. Vogt, Frank Spohr, Matthias Kreiser, Mathias Miller, 
Michael Iloifman, M. Laux, Jacob Raskop, Henry Gherkin, 
Thomas Muinwcgen, X. Petri, Joseph Marljach, Jacob Doni, X. 
Leis, N. Brisback, Wilhelm Wischmeier, Heinrich Wischmeier, J. 
Leist, W. Dussmaun, X. Schinacker, X. Palm, Lorenz Bar, Peter 
Berens, X. Brachtendorf, X. Schweissthal, W. Faymonville, M. 
Hambach, X. Klassen, Peter Annen. 

" rid. su2n-a, p. 146. Burgler, op. cit., pp. 56-62. The original 
members of St. Michael's parish included \Villiam Dussmanu, 
Michael Diversey, John Forsell, Xicolas Hamson, Mathias Miller, 
Peter Brachtendorf, "William Faymonville, John Kuhn, Christian 
Kuhn, Conrad Folz, John Schummer and Peter Scheinberg. 


AVith the coining of the Reclemptorists new spiritual 
vigor began to manifest itself in the parish, Avhich had 
been none the better for the frequent change of pastors. 
Father Joseph Mueller was first Superior of the 
Reclemptorist community and pastor of the church. 
Father Roeseh became pastor in 1863 and Father Peter 
Zinnner in 1865. Under Father Zimmer the corner-stone 
was laid on November 4, 1866, of a new l)rick church, 
200x80 with tower, the cost of the structure Ix'ing 
$130,000. It was dedicated to divine service September 
29, 1869. The fire of 1871 burnt out the interior of the 
church, but the massive brick walls were left uninjured. 

"What the Redemptorist ministry meant to St. 
Michael's parish has been aptly sketched by a competent 
authority : 

"Willi the caix' of souls now lakcti in hand by the Re- 
demptorist Fathers, began a new life for St. Michael's parish, 
a season of real blossoming and exiDansion, a season of pros- 
perity and growth. With that earnestness joined to engaging 
mildness which seems to be peculiar to the sons of St. Alplion- 
sus and of Blessed Clement Mary Hofbauer, the Fathers won 
the confidence and love of the German Catholics; many who 
had gone off to other churches, many also who had given up 
church-going altogether, met again together under the Fathers 
and little by little the parish waxed stronger and an active 
Catholic life began to develoiJ. The irreproachable and genu- 
inely priestly conduct of the Fathers who lived by themselves 
in the strict retirement of the cloister and went among the 
l)eople only to discharge their priestly calling was a powerful 
support to them in their activities for the salvation of souls 
and the welfare of the i)arish committed to tlieir hands. 
Thanks to the zeal and efticiency of the very worthy order of 
Our .M:)st Holy Redeemer, St. ^licliael's parish has grown 


[1889] to be the largest and most distinguished German-Cath- 
olic parish in the city of Chicago." ^- 

During the first year or two of the Civil War church st.Wencesiaus 
building and the organization of new parishes were very 
much at a stand-still; but they again became active as 
the great conflict wore down to the final issue. In 1863 
St. Wenceslaus's and in 1864 St. Boniface's and Notre 
Dame de Chicago came into being. At a meeting held 
August 14, 1863, the Bohemian Catholics of the city, 
eager for a church of their own, decided to purchase 
the property of H. H. Washburn at the corner of Des- 
plaincs and De Koven Streets. Some eighty-five families 
having signified their readiness to contribute to the 
building-fund, the church was begun on the site named 
in 1865 and finished the following year. Attended for 
a brief period first by Father A. Lang of the Dubuque 
diocese and after him by Father F. X. Schulak, a well- 
known Jesuit missionary of Moravian birth, St. Wences- 
laus parish came into the hands, August 26, 1865, of 
Father Joseph IMolitor, who served it with edifying and 
unabated zeal down to his death in 1906. 

St. Boniface's parish was started by the Benedictine st. Boniface's 
Fathers for the families resident in the west end of their 
parish of St. Joseph. A school-house appears to have 
been built in 1864, the first Mass was said March 5, 1865, 
and in the summer of that year a church of frame, 
costing $7,500, was erected at Noble and Cornell Streets. 
Father Philip Albrecht, a diocesan priest, was in charge 
from the fall of that year to 1867, when Father J. Mar- 
sehall succeeded to the pastorate. Two years later, in 
1869, Father Clement Venn was named pastor, holding 

^ BURGLER, op. cit., p. 32. 


the post for twenty-seven j'cars, during ^\hi(•ll St. 
Boniface's grew to be the largest German-speaking 
];)arish in Chicago with the possible exception of St. 
]\Iieliaers. In 1867 the Franciscan Sisters of Joliet were 
entrust (m1 with the direction of the parish schools.^^ 

Kotre Dame The parish of Notrc Dame de Chicago was in reality 

ncaffo j.j^^ ^^^ parish of St. Louis for French-speaking 
Catholics, nearly all of whom were immigrants from 
Canada. The pioneer church on Clark Street had been 
moved in 1855 to the wx^st side of Sherman Street just 
north of Polk. Nine years later, in 1864, a new church 
w^as begun at the northwest corner of Halsted and 
Congress Streets. Dedicated in March, 1865, it was 
served first ])y Father A. De Montabrique and after him 
by Father Cote." 

Sacred Heart Ncw uuits wcrc now being added yearly to the 

Catholic parishes of Chicago. In 1865 the first steps 
were taken towards the establishment of the parishes of 
St. Stanislaus, later the Sacred Heart, St. Thomas the 
Apostle and St. Anne. That of St. Stanislaus was an 
outgrowth of the Holy Family. In March, 1865, Father 
Arnold Damen, S. J., built a frame school-house on 
Evans now Eighteenth Street, opposite John. The 
ground on w^hich it stood was the gift of j\Ir. John 
Welsh, an alumnus of St. IjouIs University. In 1868 
the original structure received an addition 50x40, and 
in this enlarged structure, known as St. Stanislaus 
chapel, the Holy Sacrifice, the first in the history of the 
parish, Avas offered by Father Damen on Januai-y 1, 

"BuRGLER, op. cit., p. 100; Diamond Juhihc of tin Arch- 
diocese of Chicago, 1920, p. 3G1. 
"Andreas, op. cit., 2: 400. 


1869. Placed at first under the patronage of St. 
Stanislaus Kostka, the Jesuit saint, the parish later 
adopted the title of the Sacred Heart, under which title 
a spacious church of brick was erected, 1873-75, at the 
southeast corner of Nineteenth and South Peoria 

St. Thomas the Apostle's church at Kimbark Ave- st. Thomas 
nue and Fifty-fifth Street is a child of St. James's, the '''''^^°*"'' 
founder of the latter. Father Thomas Kelly, having as 
early as 1865 gathered the scattered Catholic families 
of Hyde Park Station into a mission and shortly after- 
wards built them a little church. In 1868 Father P. T. 
Butler became pastor. St. Anne's at Fifty-fifth Street 
and Wentworth Avenue likewise began its career as 
a mission of St. James's about the same time as St. 
Thomas the Apostle's. When in July, 1868, the latter 
was organized as an independent parish, with Thirty- 
eight Street as the line between it and Saint James's, 
it found the mission of St. Anne's lying within its 
territory. The first St. Anne 's church, a frame structure 
formerly serving the purpose of a Jewish synagogue in 
the down-town district, was moved to the site of the 
present St. Anne's in August, 1868. A few months 
later Father Thomas Leyden was installed as first 
resident pastor.^^ 

The Annunciation parish, with church at Paulina Annunciation, 

_, . 1 • » If. ^r-,r>r- ^ St. StUnislaUS 

Street and \\ abansia Avenue, dates trom 1866 when 
Father "Tom" Burke of St. Columbkille's established 
here a mission and built a small church, which he con- 
tinued to serve until the advent in 1868 of the first 

^^ Diamond Jubilee of tlte Archdiocese of Cidcago, 1920, pp. 


resident pastor, Father Thomas Edwards. In 1867 a 
hundred and Mty Polish families, organized as the 
Society of St. Stanislaus, began with episcopal appro- 
bation the erection of a modest two-story frame building 
serving both school and church purposes, at the comer 
of Not)le and Bradley Streets. Father F. X. Schulak, 
S. J., Avas in charge until the appointment in 1869 of 
Father Joseph Juskiewicz as permanent pastor. The 
following year came the Resurrectionists, who have con- 
tinued ever since to serve zealously this great ])arish of 
St. Stanislaus Kostka. Even in distant Poland the 
story of the parish in said to be familiarly known and 
its parochial school has the largest registration of any 
in the country.^" 
Nativity, In 1868 Father Michael Lyons was commissioned by 

Bishop Duggan to organize a parish in the Stock-yards 
district, which centered around the Transit House at 
Halsted and Forty-second Streets in the Town of Lake. 
Having acquired property on the north side of Thirty- 
ninth Street betAveen Halsted Street and Emerald Ave- 
nue, Father Lyons caused to be moved thither a building 
which had been used as a sales-stable and which he 
now had converted into a church. It was dedicated 
April 8, 1868, by the Rev. T. J. Ilalligan, Administrator 
of the diocese, under the title, it would appear, of the 
Holy Angels, a title subsequently changed to that of 
the Nativity. The same year that saw the establishment 
of a parish in the Stock-yards district, saw the members 

" For data regarding the parishes wliich follow use has been 
made chiefly of the above-cited Diamond Jubilee of the Arch- 
diocese of Chicago, 1D20. The Catholic Directory, 1867, lists St. 
Rose's Church, North Franklin near Chicago Avenue. 


of the German parish of St. Francis of Assisi beginning 
to worship in the splendid new edifice of brick erected by 
them at the southeast corner of Twelftli Street and New- 
berry Avenue. Their old church of frame at Clinton and 
Mather Streets thereupon began, under the name of 
St. Paul, to serve the needs of tlie English-speaking 
Catholics of the vicinity with Father, or, as he was 
more popularly known, Dr. John MeJMullen in charge. 
The church and other parish buildings of St. Paul's 
were all swept way in the fire of 1871 and the parish, 
which counted over a thousand families in 1866, w^as 
thereupon discontinued. 

Two West Side parishes, St. Jarlath's and St. st.jariath's, 
Stephen's, date from 1869. The westernmost section of '^'- '^''^^''^"'* 
St. Patrick's parish having been laid out in that year 
as a separate parish w^as given the name St. Aloysius, 
changed a year later to that of St. Jarlath. A frame 
church with seating capacity of three hundred and fifty 
was built at the comer of Hermitage Avenue and 
West Jackson Street and at first served from St. 
Patrick's, Father J. J. Grogan being the first attending 
priest and subsequently the first resident pastor. It was 
Father Grogan who named the parish for St. Jarlath 
as a tribute to his alma mater, St. Jarlath's College in 
Tuam, Ireland. Established in the same year as St. 
Jarlath's was St. Stephen's parish, its founder being 
Father Stephen Barrett who built his church on North 
Sangamon Street. Finally, in February, 1870, the be- 
ginnings were made of the parish of St. John Nepo- 
mucene, the second for the Catholic Bohemians of 
Chicago. Property was bought at Twenty-fifth and 
Portland (now Princeton) Streets, and steps were taken 





lielioious of 
Sacred Heart 

towards the erection of a frame church, ^vl^K•h was 
completed in 1871, Father W. Cheka arriving from 
Moravia to assume the duties of pastor. 

All in all, twenty-eight parishes, including St. 
Thomas's in Hyde Park, St. Patrick's in South Chicago 
and St. Henry's in Rose Hill, had been established in 
Chicago at the time when the great fire of 1871 spread 
the trail of destruction that was to mark a turning- 
point in the religious no less than in the civic history of 

To the Catholic sisterhoods more than any other 
human agency is due the upbuilding of Chicago's system 
of Catholic parochial schools to its present splendid 
development. They were early in the field, as we have 
seen, the Sisters of Mercy leading the van in the late 
'forties. The latter opened girls' free schools succes- 
sively in St. Mary's, the Holy Name, and St. Patrick's 
parishes. In 1856 the Sisters of the Holy Cross were 
conducting schools for "German and English girls," 
while at the same time similar schools for boys were 
being taught by Brothers of the Holy Cross in various 
parishes of the city.^" 

In August, 1858, IMadame Galway, with ten other 
Religious of the Sacred Heart arrived in Chicago at 
the invitation of Bishop 'Regan and subsequently 
of Bishop Duggan. The community resided first on 
Wabash Avenue and later at Rush and Illinois 
Streets, where they conducted a school for girls. 
Madame Galway, having acquired twelve acres on 
Taylor Street on the West Side, within the limits of 
the new Jesuit ])ai'ish of the Holy Family, built there 

"Metropolitan Catholic Almanac, 1857. 



a convent, which was first occupied by the nuns on 
August 20, 1860. In the fall of the same year the frame 
building on the North Side formerly occupied by the 
nuns was moved to the northwest corner of Taylor and 
Lytle Streets and in it was opened a "free-school" for 
the girls of the Holy Family parish. In 186-1: Madame 
Galway enlarged the convent building, establishing in 
it an academy and boarding-school for girls. In 1866 
a brick building with capacity for 1000 children was 
erected for the ''free" or parochial school at Taylor 
and Lytle Streets.^** 

In 1864 the Sisters of Mercy were engaged as teach- 
ers of the girls' schools of St. Mary's and St. John's, 
while the Sisters of Notre Dame were similarly engaged 
in St. Michael's, the Sisters of Charity in the Holy 
Name and the Sisters of Loretto in St. Patrick's. The 
Benedictine Sisters were in 1866 teaching in the parish 
schools of St. Joseph's, while in the same year the 
Sisters of Mercy took in charge both the boys' and 
girls' schools of the new parish of St. James.^^ 

In 1867 a second parish school for girls was organ- sisters of 
ized in the Holy Family parish, with the Sisters of „,g Blessed 
Charity of the Blessed Virgin, a Dubuque foundation, yirgin 
in charge. In February of that year Sister ]\Iary 
Margaret, Superioress of the Davenport convent of the 
Sisterhood, wrote to Father Donaghoe, to whose enter- 
prise the creation of the Sisterhood was largeh' due : 

"Since I wrote the above Father Damen has been here. 
He wants our Sisters, six or nine, to teach a parochial school 

"^ Andreas, op. cit., 3 : 774. 

^^ Catholic Directory, 1864- 1866; Mixogue, Loretto: Annals 
of the Century, 183. 


in Chicago. Pie will provide for them a house I'urnished, an 
oratory and daily Mass, will pay two hundred and tifty 
dollars a year to each Sister, and if Ihcy teach nmsic. em- 
broidery or painting, the income will be their own. Father 
Damen will do all he can for them. He would be glad to get 
nine Sisters, but is willing to take six for a beginning. He 
has an understanding with the Bishop about it. Now, dear 
Father, think of it, and I hope God will direct you. I told 
Father Damen I would write you all these details. I will 
get all the Sisters to say the Thirty Days' Prayer for youi- 
intention. "Will you tell me what you think of it when yuu 
write? Father Damen wrote to you on this subject some time 
ago. I will be glad to hear what you will say to his proposi- 
tion; I hope it will succeed." -" 

Thoiiijli Father Donaghoc was eager to seize tills 
oppoi'tiinity of introducing liis Sisters into the great 
field for Catholic education that lay white to the 
harvest in the most prosperous city of the ^Middle West, 
the step could not be taken without some delay. The 
following July found Father Damen still awaiting the 
Sisters anxiously. 

"We would like to get nine Sisters," he writes to Fathei" 
Donaghoc, "but try to send three or four at once, if possible, 
and let them be good teachers so as to make a good impression, 
for the first impression is generally the lasting one. I need not 
say that I have the approbation of our good Bishop."' 

July 10 Father Donaghoc conveyed to Sister ^Mary 
^Margaret in Davenport the glad tidings that permission 
to despatch Sisters to Cliicago liad ])eon ol)taincd from 

-"In th( Early Days. Pages from the Annals of the History 
of Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1833-1837, St. 
Louis, 1912, p. 200. 


Bishop Smyth of Dubuque, the ecclesiastical Superior 
of their community. 

"I have written by this post to Father Damen to say 
that I have obtained from the Right Rev. Bishop ample lib- 
erty to send him Sisters. So Chicago is ours, thank God." 

In August, 1867, Sister Mary Agatha, with six nuns 
began the educational work of the Sisters of Charity, 
B. V. M., in the Holy Family parish. Pending the 
ei'eeiion of St. Aloysius school and convent on Maxwell 
Street a short distance west of Jefferson, the Sisters 
occupied a house at the corner of Halsted and K?'amer 
Streets. St. Stanislaus' School for boys and girls. A\dthin 
the limits of the future Sacred Heart parish, was also 
entrusted by Father Damen to their care, so that by 
1871 as many as 1250 children were being educated 
under their direction. 

In 1867 came the Franciscan Sisters, who were to 
be engaged in the parish-schools of St. Boniface's and 
St. Francis of Assisi's. Schools were opened in 1868 in 
St. Columbkille 's parish, with Sisters of Charity of St. 
Vincent in charge, while in the same year the Dominican 
Sisters of the Sinsinawa foundation took in hand the 
schools of the Immaculate Conception. In 1870 Sisters 
of Charity were conducting the Holy Name schools and 
Sisters of Charity B. V. M., those of St. Stanislaus, 
subsequently the Sacred Heart. Of the Catholic paro- 
chial schools at this period, those of the Holy Family 
had by far the largest enrollment. Attending the girls' 
schools of St. Aloysius and the Sacred Heart were 850 
and 853 pupils respectively, while the boys' school under 
the management of Father Andrew O'Neil, S.J. and 
Brother Thomas O'Neil, S. J., assisted by twenty-three 


luy-tcaclieis. iniiiil)('r('(l over 2000 i)Ui)ils. All in all 
there were in the Fall of 1871 twenty-one parochial 
schools in Chicago, with an attendance of nearly 10,000 
children, the entire burden of expenses of the system 
resting entirely on the Catholic clergy and laity of the 

As to the Catholic sisterhoods of Chicago they num- 
bered eleven in 1871, being in the approximate order of 
their establishment in the city the Sisters of Mercy, 
Religious of the Sacred Heart, Sisters of Charity of St. 
Vincent de Paul, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Sisters 
of St. Benedict, Sisters of Loretto, Notre Dame Sisters, 
Sisters of St. Francis, Sisters of St. Joseph, Sisters of 
St. Dominic, Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin, 
and Poor Handmaids of Christ.-^ 

To those pioneer institutions of Catholic Chicago, 
the Orphan Asylum and Mercy Hospital, other institu- 
tions of a charitable and philanthropic character were 
added, especially in the 'sixties. 
Eouseofthe Tj^^ ^^,^^ j,^^^^^^ ^^ ^j^^ Sistcrs of the Good Shepherd 

Good •/-,!• 1 • • • • 1 J? 

Shepherd 1^^ Chicago owcd its origiii to the energetic zeal oi 
Rev. Dr. John ]\Ic]Mullen. AVith three hundred dollars 
borrowed from his brother James, a resident of Chicago, 
he rented a house on Pierce Street, later Boston Avenue, 
and with the approval of Bishop Duggan invited the Sis- 
ters of the Good Shepherd of St. Louis to send some of 
their number to open therein a ]\ragdalen Asylum. The 
three Sisters that came in 1859 in answer to tlic invita- 
tion were at once charged with Ihe care of seven women 
inmates recently i)ardoned out of the Bridewell. In his 

-' The Sisters of the Holy Cross were established in the city 
diniiii; the period 1856-1861. 


efforts to finance the new venture, Father McMullen 
visited St. Louis and other cities of the Middle West 
where he made personal appeals for aid, and in Chicago 
itself he was seen to beg on behalf of the Sisters from 
door to door, on occasion even purchasing groceries and 
carrying them in a basket to the convent when its 
little commuunity was hard pressed for the necessaries 
of life. In 1860 better quarters for the institution, with 
room for thirty inmates, were found on Franklin Street 
on the South Side. Here the asylum has been established 
only a short time when it was removed to Market Street 
on the North Side. A frame building, which Dr. Mc- 
Mullen had started to erect at the new location Avas 
only half completed when a fire of incendiary origin 
reduced it to ashes ; but the zealous priest, not dis- 
couraged by this set-back, proceeded thereupon to build 
a substantial structure of brick, which was to be the 
house of the Magdalen Asylum until it in turn fell a 
prey to the great conflagration of 1871. The Sisters of 
the Good Shepherd all these years were conducting the 
]\Iagdalen Asylum only, and it was not until 1866 that 
they took in hand a Reformatory and Industrial School 
for girls."^ 

In 1866 Brother Bonaventura Thelen, of the Alexian Aiexian 
Brothers, arrived in Chicago. A letter of approval of 
his projected work signed under date of March 31, 1866, 
by Bishop Duggan designated him as a * ' professed mem- 
ber of the Order of St. Alexius, founded for the benefit 
of the aged, poor and sick, being commissioned by his 
Superior to travel to America in order to extend the 
beneficial labors of his Order also to this country." 


"- McGovERN, Life of Bishop McMullcn, pp. 128-132. 

'JOS Tin; ("ATiioi.U" ciii'iv'cii in ciiu-aco 

W'ilhiii six moiillis ho h;ul, with the assistance dI" a 
layiuaii. Mr. WischmrycM-, cslahlishcd Si. .Mar\'s Hos- 
pital with a caiiarity of riL>-ht beds at Norlli Dearborn 
and SchdU'r Streets. I'.rother I '.onax ent lira "s little eoiii- 
iiumitN" soon nuinluM'iHl livi' brothers and thrt-e novices 
and in IS(iS tlu> Ilos])ilal fouiul more spaeions (luartors 
at r)4(; .\oith l''ranUlin Stinn-t. in IS!)'.) the institution 
ehaniiVil its name ti> that of .\le\ian lirdt lu'rs" llos- 
s I.. lo, .■,,'>:< I,, |m;j.; ^, j„s^>ph"s Hospital was opriied b\ the 

llos,<ilal . III. 

Sisters of Charily i>l' St. N'ineent in temporary ([uarters 
at niversey A\eiuu> and (Ireen l>a\" Koad. wliieli were 
soon exehaiiiied I'or a eommodioiis bnildiiiii' erected at 
Sophia, now (iartield .\\tMiiie. and Hurley Streets. With 
a capacity o\' only thirty patients in the be^-iiininn'. the 
Hospital was enabled al'ler occiipxiui;' its new (piarters 
to e\t(Mid I'oiisiderably the ranij:e of its biMuwoh'iit serv- 
ices. It is an int(M'(>stinu: t'ircumstanci^ that the two 
Catholic hospitals ol" Chicaii'o. .Mercy and St. dosi'ph's, 
were both locat(>d ontsidt' the area raxaijed by the 
l-'ire ol' 1S71 and wi're thus enabled to contiiuu' llieir 
charitable ministrations ihrouii'h that memorabU' crisis. 
(;,T„„,M In ISl),") the Ceriuan Catholics ol' Chieaii:o purehaseil 

lirphan )^,|^ acivs of laiul wltli a small house as a liome i'or their 


y.' /Zi// orphans. 'Tlu' property was located at l\osi> Hill, then 
lyinii- b(\\ond the mtrlheru line t)l' the city but now well 
within the city limits. Tlie tirsl children wtM'e received 
'\o\(Miiber I. IStili. and wei>' cared for by a .Mr. 'rraul'tler 
and his wife. In lS()7-(iS a buildinir was ereeti'd at a 
et)st ol" $S,l)l)l). the t*ont ractor. a .Mr. Mberlshanser, lend- 

-'Anokk.xs, op. cit., 12: 5I>7. Souvoiir of tlu <li>Jil(n Jiihilif 
of Hit- Ahwiau lirothcrs at Cliirogo, liU6. 


iu'^ his services gratis. The pooi' ilandinaids of (,'hi'ist 
were subsequently called from J^'oii Wayne by Father 
Fischer, President of the Asylum Jjoai'd, to take charge 
of the institution. The credit of having been the founder 
of the Asylum belongs to Father Holzer, a Redemp- 
torist, who called the first meeting of German Catholics 
at which steps were taken to estal)lish it and whose 
vigilant cntcr])ris(' ])usli('d llir ])r()ject forward to suc- 

All in all, the hospitals and asylums of Catholic 
Chicago in 3871 nuiiihei-ed nine, Mercy Hospital on the 
South Side, St. Joseph's and the Alexian Brothers' 
Hospitals on the North Side, the jMagdalen Asylum on 
North Market Street, St. Joseph's Oi-phan Asylum at 
State and Sui)erio]', the (icnnan Orphan Asylum in 
Rose Hill, Chicago Reform and Industi'ial School in 
Bridgeport (conducted 1)\' the Christian lii'othci's). the 
House of Providence on Huron Street, and the House 
of Pr-ovidcnce on Wabash Avenue. 

Higher education for the Catholic voung women of !''>«"*' 

. ' . Ladies' 

Chicago began in 184G with the opening by the Sisters Academics 
of Mercy of St. Xavier's Academy. Ten years later the 
same Sisters established the branch Academy of St. 
Agatha at Rio Grande, now Twenty-sixth Street, and 
Calumet Avenue, a boarding-school with an average 
attendance in its opening year of fifty-tw^o i)ui)ils. St. 
Paul's select-school for girls was opened in 1850, also 
by the Sisters of Mercy, in a frame building adjoining 
St. Xavier's Academy. In 1858 the Sisters of Charity 
i>j)ened the Academy of the Holy Name in a small 
building on Huron Street near State. The building 

"BURGLER, op. cit. 


subsequently occupied by the Academy was swept away 
in the Fire of 1871, the Academy being thereupon dis- 
continued.-'' In 1860 the Religious of the Sacred Heart 
under Mother Galway opened an Academy on "West 
Taylor Street, while in 1867 the Benedictine Sisters 
added still further to the number of Catholic high- 
schools for girls by establishing St. Joseph's Academy 
on Chicago Avenue for day-scholars and boarders. 
Vniversity Thc development of higher education for the Cath- 

"of the Lake ^^^^ youiig mcii of early Chicago is identified, we need 
not say here, with the University of St. J\Iary of the 
Lake. Of the fortunes of that venerable institution 
during the 'fifties and 'sixties we shall, accordingly, 
speak with some detail. The beginnings of the Univer- 
sitj^ under Bishop Quarter have been sketched above. 
Bishop Van de Velde, as a man of scholarly attainment 
and much ripe experience as an educator, was deeply 
interested in thc progress of the institution and made 
every effort to maintain its academic standards at a 
high level. Difficulties, however, apparently over matters 
of business, arose between the Bishop and the pastors 
of Holy Name Church, all of whom were connected 
either as officials or professors with the . University. 
Father Kinsella, head pastor of the Holy Name, had 
been President of the University since its inception, 
as also professor of dogmatic theology and sacred scrip- 
ture, while of his assistants. Father Clowry Avas secre- 
tary of the board of trustees and Fathers Breen and 
Hocy were on the teaching staff. To remove the dangers 
that now began to threaten the moderate measure of 
prosperity' which the University had hitherto enjoyed, 

'Andreas, History of Chicago, 2: 404. 



Bishop Van dc Velde looked to a change of management. 
He accordingly visited Notre Dame University in 1852 
to solicit the Fathers of the Holy Cross to assume charge 
of the University. This well-known Congregation had 
been established by the venerable Father Edward Sorin, 
a Frenchman, near Sonth Bend, Indiana, in the early 
'forties, and Notre Dame University, the work of his 
hands, had already won for itself a place of distinction 
in the Catholic educational life of the country. But 
the Congregation over which he presided was still in 
its merest infancy and for the moment at least in no 
position to extend its field of operations. Bishop Van 
de Velde 's offer was consequently declined. 

Under Bishop 'Regan, the controversy with the Fathers 
pastors of the Holy Name, which he had inherited from ^^iJq 
his predecessor, was brought to a close by the resignation 
of the latter from their parochial charges in January, 
1855, and their withdrawal from the diocese.-*^ Bishop 
'Regan now reopened negotiations with the Fathers 
of the Holy Cross, pending which Father Matthew 
Dillon was in charge of the University, assisted by 
Fathers McLaughlin, Hurley and Aylward. A proposal 
made by the Bishop to the Fathers of the Holy Cross 
to sell them the University and its belongings for 
$60,000 payable in twelve installments of $5,000 each 
without interest met at first with favor from the Fathers 

in charge, 

-''''At the request of the Bishop, Fathers KinscUa, Clowry, 
Breen and Hoey resigned in January, 1855, their charge as priests 
of the Holy Name and severed their connection with the Uni- 
versity. All four went East and offered their services, three to 
the Bishop of New York and one to the Bishop of Trenton. They 
were accepted and in a short time were assigned to positions of 
prominence." Illinois Catholic Historical Eevieiv, 2: 148. 


])ut \vas evcntuiilly declined. An invitation to take over 
the University wliich the Bishop extended to the Jesuits 
of St. Louis "was likewise declined. Finally, as the result 
of a pei'sonal visit made to Notre Dame in 1856, Bishop 
'Regan prevailed upon the Holy Cross Fathers to take 
a fifty-year lease on the University property and build- 
ings at an animal rental of $2100. The lease was signed 
August 4, 1S5G. The Fathei's stipulated, it would ap- 
pear, to conduct a preparatory day-school only and not 
an institution of collegiate or university grade. With 
them also came to Chicago in the sunnner of 1856 a 
num])cr of Brothers and Sisters of the Holy Cross to 
conduct schools in St. Joseph's and other })arishes of 
the city. The Brothers took over the management of 
the boA's' schools of St. Joseph's, St. Patrick's and St. 
Mary's parishes; while the Sisters taught the girls of 
St. Joseph's parish, and opened an industrial school in 
the University building and also a select school for girls 
in a l)rick building which they rented at the northwest 
corner of Chicago Avenue and Cass Street. 
jvithdraivai Though profcsscdly only a preparatory school of 

of Fathers high-school grade, the University still continued to give 

of the ^ o ... 

Holy Cross the title of President to its princii)al officer. Father 
(t. B. Kilroy was the first President during the period 
the Congregation of the Holy Cross was in charge of 
the University; and he was succeeded by Fathers 
Shortis, Patrick Dillon, James Dillon and Neil Gillespie. 
In 1857 there were thirty-five students in attendance 
at the University so-called; by the end of 1859 this 
number had risen to 120. But the spectre of financial 
distress hovered at all times over the institution. The 
panic of 1857 added notably to the embarrassment of 
the Fathers. A collection ordered by Bishop 'Regan 



in all the churches of the city towards helping them to 
pay their rent, through which means he hoped to 
realize at least a thousand dollars, brought only sixty. 
Under his successor, Bishop Duggan, the Fathers of the 
Holy Cross, feeling themselves no longer able to main- 
tain the unequal struggle, resolved to discontinue their 
educational and parochial labors in Chicago, where their 
zeal had merited general commendation, and return to 
Notre Dame. This they did at the close of the scholastic 
session 1860-61, the Brothers and Sisters of the Holy 
Cross also withdrawing from the city at the same time. 
The Sisters especially had achieved great popularity 
during their stay in Chicago, as was witnessed by the 
demonstrations of sympathy made at their departure. 
They were escorted to the depot by the Montgomery 
Guards with full band under command of Capt. Gleeson, 
who at the time was preparing to enter the Union service 
with Col. Mulligan." 

Two distinct phases had now marked the career of 
the University of St. Mary of the Lake, one of ten years 
under the presidency of Father Kinsella, and one of five 
years under the managment of the Congregation of the 
Holy Cross. It was now to enter on a third and final 
phase of five years' duration. With the appointment 
early in 1861 of Rev. Dr. John McMullen as President, 
a second spring appeared to dawn on the sorely tried 

To a friend in Rome Dr. McMullen wrote on Janu- 
ary 25, 1862: 

"I have four lay-professors associated with me in carry- 
ing on the University. We have about 110 students, thirty- 
three are boarding in the place. The university is doing bet- 

Dr. John 
President of 
the University 

^''Illinois Catholic Jlistorical Beview, 2: 149. 


ter than I expected at first and still I am not without many 
dilliculties, considering tliat I had to make great imi^rove- 
ments in order to open it with decency becoming its name. I 
have some of the ablest lay professors in the West teaching 
for me." 

The University buildings at this period comprised 
the original frame structure dating from Bishop Quar- 
ter's time and a two-story edifice of brick on the Chi- 
cago Avenue side of the property which included the 
entire square bounded by Chicago Avenue, State, Supe- 
rior and Cass Streets. To provide quarters adequate 
to the increasing number of the students, a new and 
spacious building of brick was planned, the corner- 
stone being laid by Bishop Duggan on July 4, 1863. 
Occupied ])y the students February 1, 1864, the new 
building, of which only the south wing was actually 
erected, at once attracted public notice as a type of the 
best school-construction of the day. "There is no build- 
ing for educational purposes in the state." commented 
one of the local prints, "better arranged or more appro- 
priately fitted out. ' '-^ 

To make the University over which he presided such 
in reality as well as in name became now the aml)ition 
of Ur. McMullen. By the l)oginning of tlic session 1863- 
1864 the institution had been organized on a strictly 
university l)asis, having affiliated to it i)rofessional 
schools of law, medicine and divinity. Among the in- 
structors in law were Judges Booth, Wilson and Good- 
rich, while the noted physician. Dr. Daniel Bi'ainard, 
filled the post of dean of the staff of medicine. The 
school of medicine was indeed none other than the pio- 
neer institution of medical instruction in Chicago, Kush 

=' Chicago Tribune, January 28, 1S64. 


Medical College, in the building of which, a few blocks 
distant from the University, all medical classes were con- 
ducted. The Rector of the Theological Department or 
Seminary was Father James McGovern, D. D., who also 
lectured on Holy Scripture and Ecclesiastical History. 
Dr. McMullen and later Father P. W. Riordan, the 
future Archbishop of San Francisco, occupied the chair 
of Dogmatic Theology and Father T. J. Butler that of 
Moral Theology, while Father Roles was spiritual di- 
rector of the seminarians. In the undergraduate depart- 
ment or School of Arts and Sciences instruction was 
imparted by Drs. McMullen and McGovern, assisted by 
a numerous staff of lay-professors.-^ 

Lending prestige to the University was the publica- 
tion under its auspices of "the Month," a Catholic 
monthly magazine established by Dr. McMullen, Janu- 
ary 1, 1865, under the editorship of Mr. Peter Foote of 
the University staff. It was at the time one of the few 
Catholic periodicals of the kind in the United States, 
if not the only one, Brownson's Review having been 
discontinued a few months before. A number of con- 
tributions from the pen of Dr. ]\IcMullen appeared in 
its pages ; but it ran only one year, lack of patronage 
making it necessary to suspend publication.^^ 

Though destined apparently to carry on wath sue- The 
cess the cause of Catholic education in the Middle AVest, '^"'^y*'^?/ 


the University of St. Mary of the Lake succumbed in isee 

-" Andreas, History of Chicago, 1 : 298. 

^" McGovern, Life of Bishop McMullen. According to An- 
DREAS, op. cit., 2: 405, Father Roles, while pastor of the Holy 
Name Church, 1862-1868, edited and published the first Catholic 
illustrated Sunday-school paper in the city. The Sunday School 
Messenger of the Holy Family Parish, Chicago, dates from 1867. 


the end to the financial embarrassment under which it 
had had to struggle steadily from its birth. AVith dra- 
matic suddenness it ek)sed its doors early in 1866. 
Though collections made by Dr. Mc^MuHen in the par- 
ishes of the diocese netted $3,000, there remained obli- 
gations amounting to $6,000 that apparently could not 
be met. The indefatigable Doctor, than whom no one 
could have battled more perseveringly to keep the insti- 
tution alive, broke down and wept as he disclosed to the 
faculty the financial straits of the University and its 
inability under the circumstances to continue its work. 
The Seminary was maintained until 1868 when it was 
closed by Bishop Duggan. The University buildings 
were thereupon made to house the Orphan Asylum, with 
the Sisters of St. Joseph in charge."' 

If the noble-hearted Dr. ]Mc^Iullen. Avhose services 
to religion and education the Holy See was later to rec- 
ognize by naming him the first incumbent of the See of 
Davenport had thus to taste the l)itterness of failure in 
the most cherished of his plans, it was not for lack of 
vision of the magnificence of the field which Chicago 
offered for a Catholic institution of I'niversity type. 
"Of all places," he declared, "the great city of Chicago 
was and is the place for such an institution. It is the 
heai-t of the AVest, the most enterprising, the most pro- 
gressive, the most American of all the geographical divi- 
sions of our grand Ke})uljlic, and with its vast Catholic 
po])u]ation it ought to have lifted up the torch for all 
of us." 

"I shall send you some copies of a child's paper which Father 

Roles is getting up to come out every mouth I do not think 

there is a paper of this sort for children in the country." Mc- 
GOVERN, Life and Letters of Eliza Allen Starr, p. 191. 
'" McGovERN, Life of BisJtop McMidlen. 


In the 'sixties education of a grade higher than that christian 
of the grammar school began to be supplied to the ^''others 
Catholic boys of Chicago by the Brothers of the Chris- 
tian Schools, who came to the city in 18G1. Their 
Academy at 99 East Van Buren Street offered the ad- 
vantages of a business and commercial education, which 
was later brought within the reach of the West Side 
boys by the establishment of St. Patrick's Academy. 
At a period beyond the limits of this narrative they 
were to found the De La Salle Institute on the South 
Side, which has achieved a success known to all in the 
cause of Christian education.^" 

To offer to the Catholic youth of Chicago oppor- st.iynatius 
tunities for a classical education, the Jesuits opened 
St. Ignatius College on West Twelfth Street. Classes 
were first held September 5, 1870. A spacious and im- 
posing structure of brick, four stories in height and 
costing over $200,000, housed the institution, which owed 
its origin chiefly to the zealous enterprise of the well- 
known Jesuit missionary. Father Arnold Damen. As 
the only institution in Chicago offering instruction in 
the classics at the hands of professional Catholic edu- 
cators, it soon won for itself a place of distinction in 
the Catholic educational life of the city. Founded at 
a time when the University of St. Mary of the Lake 
had but lately closed its doors, St. Ignatius College 


^- Tlie first school in Chicago taught by the Christian Brothers 
was St. Patrick's parish-school for boys. Later they took charge 
of St. Mary's School. "During this month (on the 15th) Chris- 
tian Brothers took possession of the new school on Van Buren 
and 4th Avenue, preparatory to the opening of it for the children 
of the parish on the 2nd of September, 1868." Note in Bap- 
tismal Begister, St. Mary's Church, Chicago. 


Locaiiic the timely successor of that venerable institution 
in dispensing to the youth of Cliicago the advantages 
of higher Catholic education. 

The latlci' days of Bishop Duggan's administration 
Avere clouded by the unfortunate controversies that arose 
between him and certain inlhuMitial members of his 
clergy. Only after a long-drawn out and painful jxM'iod 
of misunderstanding and dissension was the variable- 
ness of i)urpose which the Bishop betrayed in his man- 
agement of affairs recogni/.ed as a i^remonitory stage of 
complete mental collapse. Suspicion of the true nature 
of the malady having been aroused after the prelate's 
return to Chicago from the Second Council of Baltimore 
in 1866, he was advised by his physician to seek relaxa- 
tion in a European trip. A stay at Carlsbad in Austria 
failed to produce the hoped-for results and the Bishop 
returned unimproved to the United States, where the 
advance of his disease made it necessary to confine him. 
He was accordingly sent to an institution conducted by 
the Sisters of Charity on the outskirts of St. Louis, 
where he spent the remainder of his days, dying as late 
as 1899.-^^^ 

The tragic denouement of Bishop Duggan's episcopal 
career, so rich in its early days in achievement for the 
diocese of Chicago, was deeply deplored by clergy and 
laity alike and by a sort of spontaneous accord it was 
felt on all sides that the recent unhappy controversies 
should be suffered to lapse into well-deserved oblivion. 

"Shea, Ilistory of the Catholic Church in the United States; 
McGovERN, Catholic Church in Chicago, 1W--210; McGovekn, Life 
of Bishop McMullcn. 

' iii^ .'iiivV /0K?[ 


Rt. Rev. Tlioinas Foley, fiftli Bishop (Coadjutor Bislioj) and Adminis- 
trator ) of the J^iocese of Cliieago (1<S7()-1S79). A native of Baltimore in 
Maryland, ho was the first Bishop of Chicago born in America. His 
episcopate was marked by the great Fire of 1871 and the critical period 
conse(|uent thereon, through which he conducted the Church in Ciiicago 
with the utmost charity and resourcefulness, laying anew the foundations 
on which was to be reared the splendid fabric of Catholicism in that city 
todav. His death in the full tide of pastoral achievement occurred on 
February 19, 1879. 



of Chicago 

On March 10, 1870, Bishop Thomas Folev was in- Bfe^opFoz.y, 

" Administrator 

stalled in the church of the Holy Name, the pro-Cathe- ^^j^g 
dral, as successor to Bishop Duggan in the see of Chi- ^^°^f^^ 
cago, amid very cordial manifestations of good-will and 
satisfaction on the part of the clergy and laity of the 
city. Bishop Foley was a native of Baltimore, where he 
was born of immigrant Irish parents, March 6, 1822. A 
graduate with the degree of A. B. from St. Mary's Col- 
lege. Baltimore, at the early age of eighteen, a priest at 
twenty-four, pastor for twenty-one years at the Balti- 
more Cathedral, and in turn Chancellor, Vicar-General 
and Administrator of the diocese of Baltimore, he had 
discharged with satisfaction the various important du- 
ties committed to him and with a very distinguished 
record of clear judgment, scholarship and experience 
in church affairs thus to his credit, gave promise of fill- 
ing still higher ecclesiastical positions with eminent suc- 
cess. So it was that the Holy See turned to him as one 
who could be trusted to take up and wield with delicacy 
and tact to the edification of all the reins of administra- 
tion that had fallen from the hands of Bishop Duggan. 
Having in November, 1869, been appointed Bishop of 
Pergamus in partihus infidelium, Coadjutor-Bishop and 
Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago cum jure suces- 
sionis, he was consecrated February 27, 1870, in the 



Cathedral of IJallimore. by Pjishop ]\IcCloskcy of Louis- 

"Peace be to you" was the text of the serinon which 
Bishop Foley addressed to the congregation that gath- 
ered in the pro-Cathedral of the Holy Name on the 
occasion of his installation ; and a notable serinon it Avas, 
all aglow with exquisite charity and priestly zeal and 
revealing beyond mistake in its eloquent sentences the 
great heart and superior mind of the man who had come 
to direct the destinies of the Catholic church in Chicago. 

"Now I wish again to repeat the words of our Lord and 
Savior, may his grace abide with you. I hope that in the 
power of God this diocese which already holds so high a place, 
which has so vast a population and is destined if not to be the 
first at least to be the second in the country ; this diocese which 
has such vast material wealth and such a number of souls 
within its limits, shall grow in grace and power. This shall 
claim my careful attention and Avhile I live and am with you, 
whatever I can do shall be freely, entirely and olieerfully 
given to Chicago." 

The pre-eminent fitness of Bishop Foley for the posi- 
tion to which he had been called was amply demon- 
strated as his episcopate ran its course. New ])arishes 
were organi/ced and churches built, new institutions of 
charity and benevolence sprang up on every side, wliile 
an atmosphere of Christian kindliness and forbearance 
spread out from the great-hearted prelate and settled 
over the entire diocese. 
Fireofisri Bishop Foley was in the first flush of his zeal for the 

restoration of all things in Christ when a disaster of 
overwhelming proportions visited the chief city of his 
diocese. From 10 o'clock on Sunday evening, October 
9, LS71, to G o'clock on the evening of the following day, 


a span of only twenty-one hours, a fire of quite uncon- 
trollable character spread over Chicago, sweeping away 
the entire business district of the city and thousands of 
residences and leaving in its wake of destruction a loss 
in buildings, merchandise and household effects esti- 
mated at $200,000,000. A great part of the material 
equipment of the Catholic Church in Chicago in 
churches, schools and institutions, representing years of 
self-sacrificing toil and generosity on the part of clergy 
and laity, was involved in the common disaster. St. 
Paul's Church and parish buildings, at Clinton and 
Mather, distant only a few blocks from the starting- 
point of the fire, soon fell before the advancing flames. 
As the conflagration pursued its undisputed march to- 
wards the northern limits of the city, w^ere destroyed 
St. Louis's Church and Parsonage on Sherraan Street, 
the Christian Brothers' Academy on Van Buren Street, 
the Convent and Schools of the Sisters of Mercy on 
Wabash Avenue, St. Mary's Cathedral, the original St. 
Mary's of frame built by Father St. Cyr, the Bishop's 
residence at ^lichigan Avenue and Madison Street, the 
Holy Name Church, the House of Providence, the Acad- 
emy of the Sisters of Charity, St. Joseph's Orphan 
Asylum, formerly the University of St. ]\Iary of the 
Lake, the Christian Brothers' Parochial School, the Ben- 
edictine Convent, St. Joseph's Church at Chicago Ave- 
nue and Cass Street, the Magdalen Asylum, the Church 
of the Immaculate Conception, and St. Michael's Church 
with schools and other parish buildings attached to these 
churches. The total loss in Catholic church property 
was estimated at $1,000,000. 

For the moment Chicago stood dazed and even para- 
Ivzed at the extent of the calamity ; but for the moment 


only. Presently the indoniitaljle si)ii'it of tlie metropolis 
asserted itself and j^lans for a greater, a richer, a more 
splendid Chicago were already taking shape in the minds 
of its citizens before the last embers of the great con- 
flagration had smouldered away. Bishop Foley was 
absent on a confirmation-trip to Champaign, Illinois, on 
the fateful Sunday and ]Monday of the fire; and he 
returned to Chicago only to find the splendid shrines 
of Avorship and monuments of Christian charit}' reared 
under his predecessors levelled to the ground, thousands 
of Catholic families homeless and impoverished and a 
condition of acute distress among a large part of his 
flock that called for instant relief. "With characteristic 
courage he set himself to the task in hand. Food, cloth- 
ing and money with which to relieve the urgent needs 
of the victims of the fire were not to be had in sufficient 
quantity at home ; and appeals were therefore made to 
the Catholics of the country. To Eliza Allen Starr, the 
distinguished convert. Dr. jMcMullen, pastor of Holy 
Name Church, wrote October 14 from St. Patrick's, 
where he had taken refuge after his own church had 
been laid in ashes : 

"I need not tell you that you were oftou in my thoughts. 
I have met most of my people and have been able to do some- 
thing to relieve them. I have been very busy in procuring 
and distributing supjilies. Busy as ever in my life. This eve- 
ning I leave with Father P. W. Riordan for Xew York; we 
will collect through New York and New England; Dr. Butler 
with another takes Maryland and Pennsylvania; Father Roles 
goes to tiio Pacific Coast; others to Cincinnati and others to 
St. Louis."! 

' McGovEKX, Life of Bishop McMuUcn. 


The plight to which a prosperous and high-spirited ^''"<^'"'''<'" 
city had suddenly been reduced by a great calamit}^ 
touched the heart of the nation and relief sufficient to 
temper the worst features of the crisis was soon flowing 
in from every quarter. Catholic response to the call for 
help was prompt and generous and in no long time the 
Catholics of Chicago, under the leadership of the indom- 
itable Bishop Foley, the man of the hour, were heart- 
ened to look around them and plan for the restoration 
of the Church to something of its pristine splendor. But 
here we must end. The story of the new Catholic Chi- 
cago, risen on the ashes of the old to a splendor of 
growth and prosperity utterly undreamt of fifty years 
ago, falls beyond the scope of the present narrative. 
Under a succession of prelates as zealously enterprising 
and efficient as ever led a Catholic diocese along the 
paths of progress, Foley, Feehan, Quigley and Munde- 
lein, the march of the new Catholicity in Chicago has 
been one of steady and triumphant advance. AVhere so 
much has been achieved, the imagination loves to dwell 
on the historical landmarks that emphasize the nothing- 
ness from W'hich the start was made. Two hundred and 
forty-seven years ago Father Jacques Marquette offered 
the first Holy Sacrifice on the wind-swept prairie that 
has since become Chicago, Two hundred and twenty-five 
years ago, Father Francis Pinet, the first resident priest, 
was ministering in his little Indian chapel at the forks 
of the river. Eightj'-eight years ago when Father St. Cyr 
arrived in Chicago to build the first parish church, he 
found the Catholics of the place numbering but a paltry 
two hundred. Eleven years later wdien Bishop Quarter 
took possession of the newly-erected see of Chicago, St. 
Mary's parish, with its two attendant priests, was still 


the only one in the city. Fifty years ago, when the 
Great Fire came in tlie guise of a calamity to mark 
the passing of the old and the birth of the new Chicago, 
there were in the city twenty-four parishes, twenty-two 
parish schools, fifty-five priests of the secular and reg- 
ular clergj', and a Catholic population of probably a 
hundred thousand. Today, seventy-eight years since the 
erection of the diocese of Chicago, the Catholic Church 
in that city counts two hundred and twenty-seven par- 
ishes, five hundred and more priests of the secular and 
regular clergy and over a million communicants. Few 
pages in the history of the Catholic Church in any coun- 
try furnish a more amazing illustration of the growth 
of the proverbial mustard-seed to a tree of vast and 
over-shadowing proportions. 




Albreeht, Father Philip, 197 
Alexiau Brothers' Hospital, 207 
AUouez, S. J., Father Claude, 

Amiot, Louis, 27 
Anuunciation parish, 199 
Apgood, Dexter, 46 
Arnold, I. N., 186 
Aylward, Father M., 211 


Badin, Father Stephen T., at 
Chicago (1830), 31, 32; al- 
leged visits of 1796 and 1822 
to, note, 32-35; land prom- 
ised by Indians to, 54, 60 ; 
Bishop Quarter 's Seminary, 

Bailly, Esther, 97 

Baltes, Bishop, 117 

Baltimore, Chicago in diocese 
of, 28 

Bardstown, Chicago in diocese 
of, 28 

Barrett, Father Stephen, 201 

Beaubien, Alexander, 32, 34, 35, 

Beaubien, Caroline, 97 

Beaubien, Charles H., 62 

Beaubien, George, 97 

Beaubien, Jean Baptiste, Chi- 
cago pioneer, ' ' Dean House," 
home of, 30 ; land-claim, 37- 

39 ; signs petition for priest, 
45; otfers site for first Cath- 
olic Church, 49, 63; per- 
forms marriage-ceremony, 
98; offers lots for school, 
Beaubien, Josette Laframboise, 
wife of J. B. Beaubien, 68, 
97, 98 
Beaubien, Julia, 32 
Beaubien, Mark, Chicago pi- 
oneer, 39 ; signs petition for 
priest, 45; St. Cyr guest of, 
63; Sauganash Hotel, 87; 
named in baptismal register, 
Beaubien, Medard (Madore), 

Beaubien, Monique, 32 
Beaubien, Robert, 98 
Beaubiens of Detroit, note, 38 
Benedictines, 194-195, 197 
Binneteau, S. J., Father, 15-17, 

Bissell, Governor, 181 
Bourassa, Daniel, 39, 99 
Bourassa, Leon, 45 
Bourbonnois, Francis, 97 
Braner (Brennan?), — , 99 
Breen, Father J., 210-211 
Brodeur, J. B., 46 

Brothers, Alexian, 207 
Brothers of the Christian 
Schools, 209, 217 




Brothers of tlie Holy Cross, 
Brute, Bishop, baptizes in Chi- 
cago, 26, 104; appointed 
Bishop of Viuccnnes, 71-77; 
writes to Rosati a1)out St. 
Cyr, 74, 76, 77, 99, 100, 101 ; 
letters in archives, 75 ; writes 
about Chicago in Cincinnati 
Catholic Telegraph, 81, 83; 
visitation of Chicago (1838), 
103; death, 104; interest in 
history of Mississippi Val- 
ley, note, 195 
Bulf's Head, 173 
Burke, Father T., 183, 191 
Butler, Father P. T., 199 
Butler, Father Thaddeus J., 
183, 184, 185, 186, 192, 222 

Caldwell, Billy, Potawatomi 

Chief, 39, 40, '41, 56, 89, 99 
Caton, Dean, 87 
Catholic Institute, 181, 182 
Cemeteries, Catholic ; first ceme- 
tery, 107; Calvary, 168 
Condamine, Father Matthew, 80 
Charlevoix, S. J., Father Fran- 
cois, 22 
Chassut. Jacques, 5 
Cheka, Father \V.. 202 
Chevalier, Catherine, 41 
Chicago, missionary visitors to, 
Marquette, 2-9; Allouez, 10; 
Gravier, 11 ; Membre, Cave- 
lier de la Salle, Douay, 12 ; 
Pinet, 13-20 ; Montigny, Dav- 
ion, St. Cosme, 14-19 ; Rich- 
ard, 29-31; Badin, 31-36; 
Catholic population in 1833, 
37 ; Catholics petition for 
priest, 45-47; Protestant de- 

nominations in early, 52; St. 
Cyr's ministry (1833-37), see 
St. Cyr, Father ; pioneer 
schools, 62 ; described by 
Brute, 80, 83, 103; Quarter 
praises citizens of, 109 ; be- 
ginnings of Catholic educa- 
tion in, 112-119; early par- 
ishes, 119-124; 145-150, 188- 
202 ; first parochial schools, 
150-154; orphan-asylum, 154- 
157 ; Mercy Hospital, 158- 
160; Jesuit parish, 169-178; 
Catholic lay-activities, 181, 
182 ; Catholic patriotism in 

Civil "War, 183-188 ; sisterhoods, 
202-206 ; asylums and hos- 
pitals, 206-209 ; Catholic 
higher education for women, 
209-210, for men, 210-218; 
Fire of 1871, 220-222 

Chevalier, Josette, 99 

Chevalier, Louis, 45, 99 

Chevalier, Pierre, 89 

Christian Brothers, 209, 217 

Clark, Margaret, 98 

Clowry, Father William, 210- 

Cote, Father Jacob, 198 

Council Bluffs, Chicago Potawa- 
tomi at, 88 

Cumberland House, 154 

Cummiskey, Father James, 129 


Damen, S. J., Father A., 169- 
178, 198, 203-204 

Davion, Father, 15, 16, 17 

De Andreis, C. M., Father 
Felix, 78 

De Maria, S. J., Father Fran- 
cis, 111 

Deseille, Father, 53 



Dc Smet, S. J., Father Pierre, 
89, 169 

Desplat, Bazille, 46 

Dillon, C. S. C, Father James, 

Dillon, Father Matthew, 9, 211 

Diversey, Michael, note, 123, 
147, 188 

Donaghoe, Father Terence J., 
203, 204 

Douay, Father Anastasius, 
Recollect, at Chicago (1688), 

Druyts, S. J., Father John, 173, 
175, 176 

Du Bourg, Bishop, 78 

Duggan, Bishop, appointed to 
see of Chicago, 180; Cath- 
olic lay-activities, 181-182 ; 
Catholics and Civil War, 183- 
188; new parishes, 188-202; 
Catholic sisterhoods and par- 
ish schools, 202-206; asylums 
and hospitals, 206-209; high- 
er education for women, 209- 
210; higher education for 
men, 210-218 ; illness and re- 
tirement, 218. 

Dumas, S. J., Father, in vicin- 
ity of CMcago (1728), 22 

Dunne, Father Dennis, 183, 184, 

Du Pontavice, Father Hippoly- 
tus, 106 

Dupuy, Father E., 77 

Durocher, J. B., 46 

Education, Catholic: 
University of St. Mary of the 
Lake, 112-116, 151, 210-216 

St. Ignatius College, 217 


St. Agatha's, 160, 209 

Christian Brothers, 207 

Holy Name, 209 

St. Joseph's, 210 

Sacred Heart, 203, 210 

St. Paul's, 209 

St. Xavier's, 117-119, 209 
Farish Schools, 231 
Edwards, Father Thomas, 200 
Edwards, Father William, 192 


Fink, O. S. B., Bishop, 191, 195 

Finlay, John Huston, cjuoted, 5 

Fire of 1871, 220-223 

Fischer, Father, 204 

Fischer, Father Francis, 107, 

Fitzmaurice, Father C, 66 

Flaget, Bishop, mentions Chi- 
cago in address to Holy See, 
p. 28; writes to St. Cyr, 59; 
character-sketch of Brute, 

75 ; consecrates Brute, 77 ; 
writes about St. Cyr, 79, 80 

Foley, Bishop, appointed Ad- 
ministrator of Chicago, 219 ; 
installation, 220; Fire of 
1871, 220-222 

Foote, Peter, 215 

Force, C. SS. C, Father, 194 

Fortniann, Father Henry, 188 

Francheres, Louis, 46 

Franciscans, 193 

French Catholics, 149-150, 198 


Galena, 67 

Galway, Madame, 202 

German Catholics, German 
name in petition of 1833, 46 ; 
Father B. Schaefer, first Ger- 
man-speaking priest (q.v.); 



first German name in St. 
Mary's register, 9S; Father 
M. Kundig holds services for, 
102; efforts of Bishop Quar- 
ter on behalf of, 120-123, 
first ehurches, St. Peter's and 
St. Joseph's, 123-124; popu- 
lation in Illinois, note, 12-1 ; 
St. Michael's, 146; St. Fran- 
cis of Assissi's, 147, 148, 
201; new St. Peter's, 148, 
192 : in Civil War, note, 188 ; 
growth of St. Peter's, St. 
Joseph's, St. Michael's, (192 
197; St. Boniface's, 197; 
orphan asylum, 208 
Gillespie, C."s. C, Father Xeil. 

194, 212 
Grogan, Father John, 189 
Grogan, Father J. J., 201 
Gravier, S. J., Father Jacques, 

at Chicago (1700), 11 
Guarie, 24 


Hailandiere, Bishop de la, 90, 

Halligan, Father T. J.. 200 

Hatala, Father Aloysius, 195 

Heald, Captain, 44 

Hondorf, John, 46 

Henni, Bishop, 164 

Hibernian Benevolent Emigra- 
tion Society, 130 

Hoey, Father Louis, 149, 210- 

Hogan, John S. C, 46 

Holy Cross, Brothers of the, 212 

Holy Cross Fathers, 193-194, 
211, 212 

Holy Family parish, 169-178 

Holy Name parish, see Par- 
ishes, Chicago 

Holzer, C. SS. R., Father, 209 
Hospitals : 

Alexian Brothers', 207 

Mercy, 158-160 

St. Joseph's, 208 
House of Providence, 209 
Hughes. Bishop, 109, 136 
Hubbard, Gurdon S., 28, 32, 

Hurlcv, Fatlior, 211 

Immaculate Conception parisii, 

191, 192 
Ingoldsby, Father John, 111 
Ireland, Archbishop, quoted, 

note, 69, 117 
Irish Brigade, 185, 188 
Irish names, petition of 1833, 

45; St. Mary's baptismal 

register, 97 

Jaegle, O. S. B., Father :Mein- 
rad, 194 

Jesuits, first priests in Chicago, 
1-23 ; Holy Family parish, 
169-178; St. Stanislaus (Sa- 
cred Heart) parish, 198; St. 
Ignatius College, 217 

Joliet. discovers Mississippi, 2 

Joutel, at Chicago (1688), 12 

Juneau, Josette Vieau, wife of 
Solomon Juneau, 68, 97 

Juneau, Marguerite, 97 

Juneau, ^latilda, 98 

Jung, Father John 120, 123, 

Juskiewicz, Father Joseph, 200 

Kaiser, Father Eusebius, 195 
Keeney, Father Edward, 191 



Kelly, Father Thomas F., 185, 

ISO, 190 
Kenrick, Archbishop, 163, 104 
Kilroy, C. S. C, Father C. B., 

194, 212 
KinscUa, Father Jeremiah, 11, 

112, 130, 132, 210, 211 
Kinzie, Harriet Gweiithlean, 

Kinzie, John 24 
Kinzie "Mansion," 25 
Kinzie, Robert, 26, 9S, 104 
Kopp, Father Anthony, 147, 

Kroemer, Father A., 147 
Kuudig, Father Martin, 102, 


La Compte, Madame, 23 
Laframboise, Alexis, 45 
Laframboise, Claude, 39, 45, 

Laframboise, Joseph, 39, 45, 56, 

Laframboise (Beaubien), Jos- 

ette, see Beaubien, Josette L. 
Lalumiere, Father Simon, 78 
Lang, Father A., 197 
La Salle, at Chicago (1681), 12 
La Salle, Father Cavelier Dc 

La, at Chicago (1688), 12 
Lebel, Father J. A., 150 
Le Mai, Francis, 24, 26 
Le Clerc (Claire), Pierre (Pier- 

ish), note, 39, 45 
Levadoux, Father Michael, 29 
Leyden, Father Thomas, 199 
Liermann, Father, 124 
Lincoln, Abraham, alleged 

Catholicity of, 69, 70 
Loisel, Father Regis, 77 
Lutz, Father Joseph, 47, 85, 86 
Lyons, Father Michael, 200 


Mackinac, Chicago mentioned 
in baptismal register of, 27 

Magdalen Asylum, 207-208 

Mager, C. S. C, Father John 
B., 194 

Mann, John, 45 

Marquette, S. J., Father 
James, discovers Missis- 
sippi, 2 ; winters at Chicago, 
3-9; death of, 10 

Marquette cross, 5 

Marschall, Father J.. 197 

Mc.ronnell, Charles, 129, 130 

McElhearne, Father Michaci, 
131, 132, 133 

McGirr, Dr., 132. 134 

McGorisk, Father Bernard, 112, 

McGovern, D. D., Father James, 

McLaughlin. Father P. J., 120 

McMahan, Father P., 127 

McMullan, Father J. B., 117, 
178, 183, 184, 185, 187, 201, 
206, 213, 216 

Melcher, Very Rev. J., 163 

Membre, Father Zenobe, Recol- 
lect, at Chicago (1681), 12 

Menard, Pierre, 58 

Mercy Hospital, 158-160 

Merritt, Mary A., 135 

Miami Indians, at Chicago, 16, 

Michigan and Illinois Canal, 
92. 93 

Milwaukee, baptisms by Father 
B. Schaefer, 98 

Miranda, J. B., 45 

Monselle, Charles, 46 

Montabrique, Father A., de, 

Month, The, 215 



Montigiiy, Father, letter of, 19 ; 

at Chicago (1699), 22 
Mueller, C. SS. R., Fatlier J., 

Mulligan, Col. J. A., 185-188 
Murphy, Mrs. John, 33, 34 

Nativity parish, 200 
Nadcau, Monique, 97 
Notre Dame parish, 198 


Oakley, S. J., Father Maurice, 

O'Brien, Sister Mary Agatha, 
117, 129, 157 

Ogden, William B., 134 

O'Meara, Father Timothy, bap- 
tizes Robert Kinzie, 26; first 
baptism in Chicago, 102; 
Brute and, 103 ; suspended, 

Onahan. W. J., 181, 182 

O'Neill, S. J., Father Andrew, 

O'Neill, S.J., Brother Thomas, 

O 'Regan, Bisliop, early career, 
167 ; appointed Bishop of 
Chicago, 168 ; organizes new 
parishes, 190; invites Jesuits 
to Chicago, 169-175; Holy 
Family (Jesuit) parish and 
church, 175-178 ; resigns see, 
179; death, 179 

Orphan Asylum, 154-157 

Orphan Asylum, German, 208 

Ostlangenberg, Father Caspar 
H., 120 

Ouilmette, Antoiiie, Cliieago pi- 
oneer, 25, 28, 39, 98 

Ouilmette, Elizabeth, 98 

Ouilmette (Wilmot), Louis, 89, 

Ouilmette (Wilmette) Marie, 97 
Owen, Thomas J. V., Indian 

agent at Chicago, 45, 49; 

Chicago treaty of 1833, 57; 

Indian land-grant to church, 


Parishes, Chicago: 
Annunciation, 199 
Holv Family, 169-178 
Holy Name, 124, 125, 146, 

Immaculate Conception, 191, 

Nativity, 200 
Notre Dame, 198 
Sacred Heart, 198 
St. Anne's, 199 
St. Boniface's, 197 
St. Bridget's, 189 
St. Columbkille's, 191 
St. Francis of Assissi's, 147, 

148, 201 
St. Henry's, 188 
St. James, 190 
St. Jarlath's, 201 
St. John's, 191 
St. John Nepomucene, 201 
St. Joseph's, 123, 146, 188, 

St. Louis, 150 
St. Mary's, 49-51, 54, 61, 65, 

82. 106, 107, 109, 125, 127, 

128. 149 
St. Michael's, 147, 195-190 
St. Paul's. 201 
St. Patrick's, 119, 149, ISS 
St. Patrick's (South Chica- 
go), 190 



St. Peter's, 123, 148 

St. Stauislaus (Polish), 200 

St. Stauislaus (Sacred Heart), 

St. Stepheu's, 201 
St. Thomas, 190 
St. Thomas the Apostle 's, 

St. Wenceslaus, 197 
Parish Schools: 

Holy Family, 203, 205 
Holy Name, 152, 153, 202, 

203, 205 
Immaculate Conceptiou, 205 
St. Bouif ace's, 205 
St.Columbkille's, 205 
St. Francis of Assissi's, 153, 

St. James, 203 
St. Joseph's, 153, 203 
St. Louis, 153 

St. Mary's, 151, 152, 202, 203 
St. Michael's, 153, 203 
St. Patrick's, 153, 188, 202, 

St. Peter's, 153 
St. Stauislaus (Sac. Heart), 


Peltier, Jacquet, 97 

Peltier, Jean Baptiste, 26 

Perry, N. P., 26 

Pettel (Pettle), Louis, 25 

Pettelle, Domitille, 27 

Pinet, S. J., Father Francois, 

at Chicago (1696-1700, 12- 

20; with the Tamaroa, 20; 

death, 21 
Plathe, Father G. W., 149, 193 
Platte Purchase, 87 
Pointe de Saible, Jean Baptiste, 

Pointe de Saible, Susanne, 26 
Pokegan, Potawatomi chief, 36 

Poor Handmaids of Christ, 209 

Portage des Sioux, Mo., Bap- 
tismal register of, 27 

Porter, Rev. Jeremiah, Pres- 
byterian clergyman, 52, 54, 

Potawatomi Indians, occupy 
site of Chicago, 23; Catholic 
chiefs, 40; treaty of 1833, 
56 ; grant land for church 
purposes, 60 ; migrate to 
West, 86-89 

Pothier, Jean, 45 

Poulx, J. B., 45 

Quarter, Bishop, early career, 
108 ; arrives in Chicago, 109 ; 
ordains first priests. 111 ; 
University of St. Mary of the 
Lake, 112; University incor- 
porated, 113 ; Catholic Bishop 
of Chicago constituted "cor- 
poration sole", 113; new 
University building opened, 
114; invites Sisters of Mercy 
to Chicago, 117; makes Vir- 
gin Mother patroness of di- 
ocese, 117; organizes new 
parishes, St. Patrick's, St. 
Patrick's, St. Joseph's, St. 
Peter's, Holy Name, 119-124; 
extracts from Diary, 126- 
130; death, 130-132 

Quarter, Father Walter, 109, 
112, 119, 137, 138 

Quebec, Chicago in diocese of, 


Railroads, note, 144 
Redemptorists, 147, 196 
Rabbie, J. B., 45 



Reformatory and Imlustrial 
School, 207 

Reform and Industrial School 
(Bridgeport), 209 

Religious of the Sacred Heart, 
see Sisterlioods 

Resurrectionists, 200 

Reze (Reze, Rese), Bishop, 
visits Chicago (1833), 59 

Richard, Father Gabriel, at 
Chicago (1821), 29-31 

Rieseh, C. SS. R., Father 
George, 196 

Riordan, Msgr. Daniel J., note, 

Riordan, Father P. W. Rear- 
don,' 117, 183, 222 

Robinson, Alexander, Potawa- 
tomi chief, 40, -41 ; daugh- 
ters of, note, 42 ; signs peti- 
tion for priest, 45; supports 
Chicago treaty of 1833, 57 

Roles, Father Joseph P., 183, 
215 222 

Tlosarist's Companion, 129 

Rosati, Bishop, jurisdiction in 
Chicago, 42, 43; sends St. 
Cyr to Chicago, 47; letters 
from Father St. Cyr to, 49, 
53, 57, 61, CG ,67, 82, 84, 86, 
90, 91, 93, 94 

Rothensteiner, Father John, 
quoted, 7iote, 42 

Roux, Father Benedict, 77 


St. Cosme, Father, at Chica^^o, 
15; letter of, 15-18 

St. Cyr, Father J. M. I., ap- 
pointed to Chicago mission, 
47 ; early career, 48 ; arrives 
in Chicago, 48 ; letters to 

Bishop Rosati, 49, 53, 57, 61, 
66, 67, 82, 84, 86, 90, 91, 93, 
94; first ^lass in new cliurch. 
61; goes to St. Louis (1834), 
62 ; first Mass in Chicago, 
63 ; Chicago Catholics peti- 
tion to retain, 95; baptismal 
records, 97, death, 99 

St. Joseph's hospital, 208 

St. Ours, Antoine, 46 

Sacred Heart parish, 198 

Sacger, Fatlier Anthony, 195 

Saver, Dill, 45 

Seammon, J. Young, 134 

Schaeffer, Father, 193 

Schaeflfer, Father Bernard, 90, 
92, 94, 96, 98, 100, 101, 102 

Schulak, S. J., Father F. X., 

Schneer, O. S. B., Father Leau- 
der, 194 

Schuyler, C. S. C, Father, 194 

SchMartz, Abram, 98 

Shcahan, James W., 177 

Shortis, C. S. C, Father Rich- 
ard, 212 


Benedictine Sisters, 203, 210 
Franciscan Sisters, 198, 205 
Poor Handmaids of Christ, 

Religious of the Sacred 
Heart, 174, 202, 203, 206, 

Sisters of Charity, B. V. M., 

Sisters of Charity of St. Vin- 
cent, 203, 205", 208, 209 
Sisters of the Good Shepherd, 

Sisters of St. Jose].ii 216 
Sisters of Lorotto, 20.'; 
Sisters of Mercy, 117-119, 



125, 129, 137, 153, 154, 
156, 157, 158-160, 174, 202. 
203, 206, 209 
Sisters of Notre Dame, 203 
Sisters of St. Dominic (Sin- 

siiiawa) 205, 206 
Sisters of Mercy, Holy Cross, 

Loretto, Notre Dame, St. 

Benedict, St. Dominic, St. 

Francis, St. Joseph, see Sis- 

''Skokie", 14 

Smarius, S. J., Fatlier Cor- 
nelius, 181 
Smith, J. Lisle, 134 
Smyth, Bishop, 181 
Sorin, C. S. C, Rev. Edward 

Sorin, 211 
Springfield, 111., proposed by 

St. Cyr as headquarters for 

missionary, 67 
St. Louis, party of Father Mon- 

tigny at, 18 ; Father Pinet at 

River Des Peres (St. Louis), 

21; cathedral registers, 27; 

Chicago in ecclesiastical jur- 
isdiction of, 42, 43 
St. Mary's (Kansas), Chicago 

Potawatomi at, 88 
St. Mary's, St. Patrick's, etc., 

parishes, etc., see, Parishes, 

St. Palais, Father Maurice de, 

90, 106, 107, 110, 111, 127, 

128, 177 

Taheaux, J. B., 46 

Taylor, Augustine D., 42, 61, 

65, 66, 91, 123, 155 
Taylor, Anson, 42, 46, 48, 59 
Taylor, Charles, 45 

Thelcn, Brother Bojiaventura, 

Tippecanoe Hall, lo't 
Tonty, at Chicago (16S1), 12 
Tschieder, S. J., Father Peter, 

Truyens, S. J., Father Charles, 

Tuseh, C. S. C, Father Andrew, 



Van der Laar, Father Martin, 

Van de Velde, Bishop, early 
early career, 138, 139; ap- 
pointed Bishop of Chicago, 
140, 141; installation, 142; 
poverty of diocese, 143 ; ex- 
tracts from Diary, 144 ; paro- 
chial schools, 150-154; founds 
Orphan Asylum, 154-157 ; 
Mercy Hospital, 157-160 ; 
transferred to Natchez, 161- 
164; death, note, 165 

Van Quickenborne, Fatlier C. 
F., 69, baptizes Potawatomi 
from Chicago, 142 

Vaughn, Dill, 45 

Vaughn, James, 45 

Venn, Father C, 197 

Vieau, Josette, see Juneau, 
Josette Vieau 

Vincennes, diocese of, erf:cted, 
71 ; scarcity of priests, 78, 81 


Waldron, Father John, 183, 191 
Walsh, Patrick, 45, 98 
Ward, Father Patrick, 191 
Watkins, Thomas, 83 



Weikarap, Father John B., 147, 

Welsh, Joliii, 97 

Whistler, Gwenthaliu (Gwenth- 
lean), 26, 98 

■\\liistler, Capt. John, estab- 
lishes Fort Dearborn, 26; 
dies in St. Louis, 43 

Whistler, Johne, 44, 97 

Whistler, Major William, 26, 
44, 46 

Wilmot (Ouilmette), Louis, 99 
Wimette (Ouilmette), Marie, 

Wischmeyer, Henry, 207 

Zimmer, O. S. B., Abbot Boni- 
face, 194 

Zimmer, C. SS. R., Fatlier P., 

Zoegel, Father Joseph, 195 


This book is 



tances to be 

under no circums 
en from the Builc 

f.iriii 110